Winner of Your Best Radish Recipe

September 22, 2010

Congratulations to gingerroot, who won this week's contest for Your Best Radish Recipe with her Roasted Radish and Potato Salad with Black Mustard and Cumin Seed.

Gingerroot  Roasted Radish and Potato Salad with Black Mustard and Cumin Seed

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

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I was fortunate to have two wonderful grandmothers who were both amazing cooks. They both expressed love through cooking and feeding their loved ones. I have vivid memories of helping each of them at an early age, maybe around 3 or 4, in the kitchen. 

For my paternal grandmother, I was always in charge of grinding the pecans for her pecan pie in a hand mill. I remember sitting right on the kitchen floor to do this. At my maternal grandmother’s house, I was in charge of opening the can of Libby’s corned beef for her corned beef hash. I remember thinking it was a big deal, getting to use the “key” attached to the can. The fact that they both welcomed me into their kitchens and immediately made me a part of the production definitely instilled in me an early love and curiosity for food and cooking.

What's your least favorite food?

Hmm…I do not really care for the canned clam that is in Ozoni, traditional Japanese New Year’s soup. I always gulp it down though, for the good luck. I also do not really like or eat processed fast food. That said, hot fries from McDonalds are my best hangover cure.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?

This may sound corny, but ever since joining food52 my food has been better, my ideas grander and more inspired, thanks to everyone in this community. I owe A & M a debt of gratitude: My mind is often whirring to try things I have never imagined making before thanks to food52, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. 

One example is the Fresh Fig Custard I made during the basil contest – I had never made my own custard before but was very pleased with the result and flavor combination (and ate two in a sitting on two separate occasions).

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Thankfully I have not had any spectacular ones to date (spectacular to me connotes fire and blood). There was a time years ago when I lived in Boston and worked at a preschool. Being from Hawaii, I decided to make ice cream mochi brownies for a class potluck. This was just when I really started getting interested in cooking and I was missing an ingredient or two but figured it would just work out. The sticky brownie soup I served was nearly inedible, although the parents and teachers were nice enough to taste it and smile.

What is your idea of comfort food?

Definitely some variation of hot Asian soup with or without noodles -– Chicken Pho, Vegetable Tan Tan, my mom’s after-Thanksgiving Turkey Jook, or just a simple bowl of Miso soup.

Apron or no apron?

I would love to say apron, but as my wardrobe attests, no apron.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

So many great movies involve food! However, I am a big Scorsese fan and I love the scene from Goodfellas where they are cooking in prison –- especially Paulie slicing the garlic with his razor blade. Just because you are in the big house doesn't mean you should sacrifice the quality of your food, or what you eat!

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?

My grandmothers because they helped shape the cook/food lover in me and never got to really experience my cooking. 

Paul Newman, because he is my oldest (meaning he has been it the longest) movie boyfriend, and he went to my alma mater, Kenyon College. I figure we could talk about the beauty of Gambier, Ohio in the fall and make pasta!

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.

At home it is usually alone, although I can cook with my mom and aunt really well and happily; we all get into our own little groove and know each other’s rhythm around the kitchen. I also love cooking with my siblings.

When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

Definitely try to clean as I cook, especially since I am a pro at getting a lot of dishes, pots, bowls, spoons, etc. dirty in no time flat when cooking.

  • Gingerroot
  • Gingerroot's kids with the family's raised bed garden in Honolulu


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Kelsey B. September 24, 2010
Congratulations Gingerroot!
gingerroot September 24, 2010
Thanks so much, KNC! I love your blog and look forward to your book!
creatimprovise September 23, 2010
Congratulations! I know it's delicious, likes everything you make. It was fun to watch the ladies making your recipe. Many hands make for light work . . . looking forward to cooking with you soon.
Sagegreen September 23, 2010
Congrats again! Your children look as wonderful as your recipes! Getting to know you better has been a pleasure. That is another great feature of our wonderful Food52 community.
gingerroot September 24, 2010
Aw, thanks Sagegreen! I agree, the Q & A provides a wonderful behind the recipes.
gingerroot September 24, 2010
Whoops, not sure where my word disappeared to...I meant "provides a wonderful glimpse behind the recipes."
luvcookbooks September 23, 2010
liked the part about food52. i also feel that the food in my home has changed for the better. almost every week i end up trying a new recipe and i've learned so many things through the comments... it's an interactive cookbook and message board!
i like almost all the same cookbooks, plan to look up the author I didn't recognize and find a new cookbook.
do you cook from the alford and daguid (sp?) cookbooks? i love looking at them but don't think i've cooked from them.
kids look like they are a fun age, so fun to have a family to feed!!
congratulations, and i'm sorry that i wasn't able to get all the right ingredients for the CSA soup, still good, though...
gingerroot September 23, 2010
Thank you for your kind words and nice review of my CSA soup - I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love Hot Sour Salty Sweet and have a few recipes from that book that are in my regular dinner rotation (with many more I would like to try!).
healthierkitchen September 23, 2010
Congratulations Gingerroot! Your passion is contagious.
gingerroot September 23, 2010
Thanks to all for kind words and support, it means a lot to me...here's to the next 50 weeks of great food and inspiration!!
monkeymom September 23, 2010
Congratulations gingerroot! Can't wait to see more of your recipes.
semolina September 22, 2010
Yay Gingerroot!! Looking forward to cooking with you sometime in the near future!! Or maybe you cook & I eat:) So glad that you have found your passion!! Love you:)
gingerroot September 23, 2010
Thanks, S! So jealous Lily will see you on Friday. xo
oatcake September 22, 2010
congratulations gingerroot! its good that your beautiful children are starting green thumbs early. : ) well done = yoku dekkimashita!
The E. September 22, 2010
Congrats Gingerroot!!
lapadia September 22, 2010
Oh, Happy Day…Congratulations gingerroot!! As I write this I have an abundance of garden zucchini and tomatoes in the kitchen waiting for me to make your Zucchini Tomato Confit, and I am also planning on your Curried Zucchini Chickpea Salad for dinner. Next up will be your winning recipe! Thanks for sharing your family and garden picture, cute kids!
gingerroot September 23, 2010
Thanks so much lapadia! I am so thrilled that your beautiful pie is a finalist. You'll have to let me know what you think about the zucchini recipes.
Midge September 22, 2010
Congrats Gingerroot. What adorable tots you have!
Kitchen B. September 22, 2010
Congrats gingerroot - I see we have the same 'Paul Newman' dreams, oh those eyes were the most gorgeous blue. Congrats again
gingerroot September 24, 2010
They certainly were the most gorgeous blue! Thanks again, KB!
Bevi September 22, 2010
Congrats on your win, Gingerroot!
Oui, C. September 22, 2010
Congrats Gingerroot! Really looking forward to trying this great looking recipe.
gingerroot September 24, 2010
Thanks so much! Your soup is on the top of my must-try list!
mrslarkin September 22, 2010
Yay gingerroot! Love the Q&A - nice learning more about you!
lastnightsdinner September 22, 2010
Congratulations, and thanks for sharing this wonderful dish!
thirschfeld September 22, 2010
so glad to meet you gingerroot and it is nice to learn more from someone using the wonderful foods Hawaii has to offer. Waiting on purple sweet potatoes.
drbabs September 22, 2010
And apple bananas!! Congratulations!
gingerroot September 23, 2010
Working on it; almost made a purple sweet potato-coconut pie.
aargersi September 22, 2010
Congratulations Gingerroot! Great recipe, love the Q&A - keep the great ideas coming! Your kids are really cute ...