It’s halfway through October, which means that my “ALL SQUASH IN EVERYTHING ALL OF THE TIME” phase of gastronomy is about to commence. But before “roasting things and by things I mean every vegetable in my fridge and throwing it over some quinoa and calling it dinner” takes over my life, I needed to cram in one last Slightly Autumnal But Still Summery salad.
Like many people I also tend to buy the same ingredients over and over: my produce runs inevitably involve some peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, a cucumber, carrots… There are just so many options that I’m either slightly intimidated by or haven’t used enough to think of them as a staple. Radishes and fennel are two such strangers to my pantry — which is why I forced myself to use them here. Surprisingly, the result wasn’t as extreme as I was expecting — there were no really new flavors here, just ones that I for some reason never churn out of my own kitchen.
Thinly sliced fennel, radishes, and red onion are tossed with chickpeas, orzo, and feta cheese, with a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, plenty of mint (I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT), and salt and pepper. (I add a little bit of cayenne too because the tanginess brings out the sharpness of the radish and fennel, but then again I want everything to be spicy.) Grapefruit segments would be a nice addition here as well, or even thinly sliced granny smith or gala apples.