Roasted Radishes

I would not characterize myself as a big fan of radishes. Sometimes I enjoy them, sometimes I find them too strong. I have mostly (maybe always?!) eaten them raw. Radishes grow best in cooler weather (early spring or fall) and the tops are edible also. They are easy to store and there are a number of varieties. We’ve grown them in our garden and I have used them in salads or on a crudites tray with dip.

When I saw a recipe for roasted radishes, I knew I had to try them. It was easy and best of all, I really couldn’t stop eating them. They were delicious! I tried them with and without a squeeze of lemon juice and never did decide which I preferred. They were good hot from the oven and still good at room temperature. These would be such a unique addition to your holiday table. The colors are gorgeous and so festive!

ROASTED RADISHES
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1 bunch of radishes
1 Tb. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh lemon juice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 1/4 or 1/8th the radishes depending on their size. Toss the radishes with the butter, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Squeeze lemon over all if desired.

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Counter Culture

This past week marked the opening of my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was so excited to go and pick up the first produce of the season. Here’s what we received: one bag of mixed greens, one bunch of asparagus, kale, two heads of lettuce, radishes, eggs, chives, tarragon, spearmint and peppermint.

And here is what we’ve done with this delicious food:

asparagus — steamed with butter, salt and pepper
radishes — although I wanted to make this salad again, I’ve just been putting these into regular green salads
mixed greens and lettuce — salad; the first salad I made needed to be quick and consisted of the greens plus snipped chives, including the chive blossoms. Salad dressing also needed to be quick and so I used cream, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. A perfect combination!
chives — the chives have appeared in salads and our egg supper, and I’m thinking of trying to dry some to use in the winter. I’ll have to let you know how that goes.
tarragon — I’m envisioning turning this into a lemon-tarragon sauce for chicken

kale — I browned a bit of garlic in some olive oil and then threw in the washed and chopped kale to cook until it was tender. Balsamic vinegar finished it off as a delicious side dish to our pasta dinner.
eggs — we often have eggs on Saturday night since I plan for a large meal on Sunday. Most frequently I mix five eggs with 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup grated cheese, salt and pepper and bake it in a greased pie plate. This week I added snipped chives.
spearmint and peppermint — my favorite way to enjoy these herbs is in my tea. I drink Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast Decaf and add a sprig of mint to my mug when brewing the tea (or make a large pot with several teabags and a few sprigs of mint). I drink this hot with milk, but it’s also excellent chilled. Some of the mint found its way into the cucumber and sugar snap pea salad that I made again this week.

We enjoyed a delicious meal for Mother’s Day, cooked for us by my sister. She made hamburgers on the grill with various toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion, blue cheese, avocado, and bacon. Side dishes included oven fries, rice salad, and Israeli salad.

Of course the most exciting thing happening in our kitchen right now is the presence of our baby girl — Laura Elizabeth — who arrived on April 27th.

And, since Laura’s arrival, our family has been enjoying the cooking of many friends who have kindly provided meals for us. We’ve all enjoyed the variety and I think the kids are sorry to see the meals coming to an end.

Market Fresh: Radishes

Radishes are one of the fastest and earliest crops to harvest from the garden. I think that’s why my mom always let us kids plant them when we were young. Our patience wouldn’t be as tried by the radishes as it would be by the tomatoes or green beans.

I think we only ever planted the bright red variety of radish that is most commonly seen in the supermarkets. But, there are many varieties of radishes. Last year I planted “Easter Egg” and “White Icicle” (as seen above on this month’s header). Most of us found the White Icicle radishes to be a bit too spicy for our liking, but we enjoyed the more milder Easter Eggs.

Usually, when our family enjoys radishes we eat them either as part of a veggie tray with dip, or alone with salt sprinkled on them, or sliced into a green salad. It was fun to find some recipes that used radishes in a different way. You might want to give one of these a try!

RADISHES WITH BUTTER AND SALT
(adapted from the Barefoot in Paris)
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2 bunches of radishes, tops intact
sea salt
good salted butter or herbed butter
1 French baguette, sliced diagonally, and lightly toasted

Herb Butter:
4 oz. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. minced green onions
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (or, try 1 tsp. lemon zest)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Combine the herb butter ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined. Do not whip.

Thinly slice the radishes. Spread the herb butter on the toasted and cooled bread. Arrange the radishes on top of the buttered bread. Sprinkle with plenty of salt.

Serves 6-8.

This salad was delicious! We loved the taste of the sesame combined with the cucumber and radish.

RADISH AND CUCUMBER SALAD
(www.bbcgoodfood.com)
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1 cucumber, halved, peeled and thinly sliced
10 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped and soaked in lemon juice for 10 minutes
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (I left this out)
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
salt & pepper

Put the cucumber, radish and onion (straining off any excess juice) in a bowl.

Whisk the rice vinegar, oils, chilli and some seasoning together and pour it over. Toss well and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Serves 4-6.

I could not resist trying a recipe for cooked radishes. Although it was a completely foreign idea to me, I thought it was definitely a novel idea to keep in mind when you need something new and exciting to accompany a dinner. The taste seemed somewhere akin to a Brussel sprout, but a different texture.

GLAZED RADISHES
(Food Network)
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radishes
butter
salt
sugar

Place radishes in a saute pan and add water until it comes a third of the way up the vegetables. Add a slab of butter (I used 2 Tbsp.) and a hearty pinch of salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-high heat until most of the liquid evaporates; toss radishes in the buttery glaze.