By Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan, Local Food Program Manager and Chef
I’ve never been a fan of raw radishes. They were always on my Grandma Agnes’ “relish plate” with pickled beets, something that looked like a cornichon and maybe some herring. Fast forward about 25 years, and I’m standing in my kitchen with my friend Bryan from culinary school.
“I’m not fond of radishes,” he says in his South African-British accent.
“Me neither,” I replied. “What should we do with them?”
We stood there looking at the radishes, as though they were mischievous children.
“Wait,” he said. “I’ve got an idea,” and he got out my saute pan.
And that was that! When these little gems hit the heat, they lose that horseradish-y bite and become almost like a potato (but more interesting). Sauteing them with olive oil plus a little butter is still my favorite quick and easy weeknight solution for a bunch of radishes, but they can also be roasted, braised and even grilled! And don’t forget pickling! Here are a couple of easy radish recipes (Braised Radishes
and Spicy Quick-Pickled Radishes
) to elevate them beyond a salad ingredient. Enjoy! -Chef Steph
1 T. olive oil and/or butter
1 medium shallot, minced
20 medium radishes, leaves and stems removed (about 1 pound after trimming)
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 t. minced fresh chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
Halve radishes if small, or quarter them if large. Place olive oil/butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the radishes and cook 1 minute longer (it’s OK if they sear and brown a bit, which adds flavor).
Add the broth, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the radishes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the cover and simmer until the liquid thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Add the chives andseason with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen
Spicy Quick-Pickled Radishes
1 bunch radishes (any variety)
¾ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ cup water
3 T. honey / maple syrup
2 t. salt
½ – 1 t. red pepper flakes (the full 1 t. will be spicy)
½ t. whole mustard seeds
Optional additions: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
Remove tops and bottoms of radishes and slice into very thin rounds (a chef’s knife or mandoline works well). Toss the rounds with red pepper flakes, mustard seeds and any other optional additions, then pack them into pint-sized canning jars.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey/syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the radishes.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature and serve (or cover and refrigerate for later). Serve on tacos, sandwiches, salads, or anywhere you need a little zing!
Makes about 1 ¼ cup.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit