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Serving for the Season: Farmer Lee Jones' Salad

Last Chance Foods asked five guests from 2010 to share the recipes they'll be serving to their families over the holidays. These time-tested favorites highlight seasonal produce and are ideal for gatherings of family and friends.

Farmer Lee Jones of the Chef's Garden provides produce to some of the city's top restaurants. In November, he spoke with All Things Considered and Last Chance Foods host Amy Eddings about a new type of spinach he's growing in Huron, Ohio. That spinach also has a starring role in one of his favorite festive salads.

Here's what Jones says about the salad. Plus, try out the recipe below:

I always like to incorporate something healthy into our menu at the holidays. There are always way too many sweets and treats. (I can’t resist my favorite "ice box pudding," which Grandma Jones used to make—and my Aunt Donna has been attempting to duplicate for the last 30 years.) But in trying to stay seasonally sensitive and looking for something light and healthy to round out our holiday meal, I love a simple and traditional salad of wintered-over ice spinach® with watermelon radish (which we rename Christmas radish this time of year).

Wintered-over spinach is harvested fresh all winter long from our cold frames on the farm. It’s full of flavor and has amazing texture due to the freezing and thawing it goes through night after night. We start with a huge bowl of these lush greens. We add watermelon radish that we pull from our root storage and use a mandolin to slice it into carpaccio-style round discs. Then we take a lime radish and make long carpaccio-thin slices using the mandolin. This creates long green ribbons of radish against the red and green round ornament-like radish discs. It’s simply beautiful, fresh and crisp. Add vinaigrette and some fresh cracked pepper and you have a very special holiday dish that feels great to eat.

Farmer Jones Favorite Holiday Salad

  • 1 bunch ice spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 1 lime radish

Place the cleaned spinach in a large bowl. Layer generously with slices of Watermelon Radish and ribbons of Lime Radish. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to lightly coat leaves. Top with freshly cracked pepper. (Try Chef Stephen Trojahn's 'White Wine Vinaigrette Recipe.'