First appeared on CAFE newsletter January 12, 2020
Edited by: Ellie Sharp
In the middle of the winter, finding colorful crunch is hard without the beautiful radish! Most people put radishes in salad. While they certainly are a tasty, crunchy addition to a salad, there are other ways to use them! The most common way is to simply dip them in soft butter and sprinkle with salt. Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it! If you can’t quite swallow that, you can spread some bread with a (thick) layer of butter, then a layer of radish, then top with salt (black salt pictured). Don’t forget about the tops too! They are thinly sliced and placed on top of the radish sandwich here, but radish tops make an excellent addition to homemade pesto and soups (think in place of spinach, kale, or mustard/turnip greens!).
Perhaps though, my favorite way to prepare radishes is to cook them. They are wonderful roasted on pan amongst other vegetables (like potatoes or squash). I’m a big fan of “sheet pan meals” and love to throw potatoes, radishes, broccoli, and some local sausages on a pan to roast and call it dinner! But I want to leave you with a very tasty addition to your recipe box. Braised Radishes. I hope you try it and love it!
- 4 slices of bacon OR ¼ cup butter
- 2 bunches of radishes, about 1 pound, or about 14 radishes
- 3 large shallots or a small red onion, sliced and 1 garlic glove, minced
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Water or chicken/vegetable stock 2TB-1/4 cup
- Italian parsley, leaves chopped into about scant ¼ cup
- Salt and pepper
- Trim away bottoms of radishes. You can keep nice looking greens intact or remove and save for another use (or compost!). Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel the shallots and slice into thin rings.
- Cook the chopped bacon in a large heavy skillet – preferably cast iron. When the bacon is crisped remove from skillet and set aside. If you need to, drain some fat away. You should have enough bacon fat covering the skillet (about 1-3 Tablespoons). OR melt butter in pan. Over low, allow butter to cook until small bits start to brown on the bottom of the pan ~3 minutes.
- Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they start to brown slightly. Move to the outside of the skillet, away from heat. Add the radishes, placing each cut side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and some water/stock – the liquid should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the water has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley/herb of choice and sauté for about a minute or two, until it’s wilted.
- If using, add the bacon back in and season with salt and pepper. Serve over grits!