I always found radishes easy to grow and a challenge to cook with, until I came across this lovely summer salad from the Jerry Traunfeld playbook. I like how it contrasts the mild bitterness and stunning color of radishes with sweet, crisp green beans and fresh basil. The combination is a nice departure from the usual dinner salad and yet couldn’t be simpler. And bonus, it calls for produce that’s ready in the garden right now.

Recipe: Green Bean, Radish, and Basil Salad

¼ pound green beans / 3 or 4 radishes, sliced thinly / 1 tbls basil leaves, julienned / 1 tbls sherry vinegar / 1 tbls olive oil / pinch dry mustard / salt & pepper to taste / Parmesan cheese to taste

Blanch green beans in boiling water until deep green in color but still have some snap, about 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Meanwhile whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, salt to taste, and several grindings of pepper. Toss green beans with radish slices, basil, and dressing, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Adapted from Jerry Traunfeld’s Herbal Kitchen. Feeds 2.