Whenever I make these cooked radishes it seems to surprise people. Radishes are generally considered a salad ingredient, meant to be eaten fresh. And indeed they are fantastic raw — crisp, refreshing, and clean-tasting, boasting a bright flavor with a little peppery blast that hints at the horseradish that it’s related to. Cooked they become earthier and sweeter and more reminiscent of mild turnips. I urge you to try this very simple preparation some time; the results are fantastic — the insides of the radishes get tender and the edges get nicely browned. Roasted radishes pair well with any sort of roast; they compliment roasted pork and chickens very well. I like them even more with flavorful seafood — I mate them often with lobster, as I did just recently for my Valentine’s Day butter-poached lobster dish.
Feel free to play around with this recipe. Add a bit of minced shallot, scallions, or garlic. In the recipe below I add a splash of balsamic vinegar, but an aged sherry vinegar is fabulous as well, or even a little rice vinegar. Add some herbs as well — fresh oregano, rosemary, parsley, basil, or chives. A wee bit of tarragon would be nice touch too.
You will need:
- 1 bunch of radishes (standard round red radishes are fine, although French breakfast radishes make for an excellent choice)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- cracked black pepper
- kosher salt or sea salt
- a pinch of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Wash radishes and dry very well. Trim off most of the greens (I like to leave a little bit of the fronds.) and cut the radishes into quarters.
Heat a small non-stick, oven-proof skillet or saute pan over high heat. Add butter and oil to the pan and swirl around to coat evenly. Add the radishes and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook radishes undisturbed until the bottoms have started to brown. Toss radishes in the pan to cook evenly and add the pinch of sugar.
Pop the pan in the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Remove and drizzle the vinegar over the radishes. Serve immediately as a side dish.