Radishes are one of those hard-to-sell root veggies. The tops of them are reminiscent of weeds and people seem to be scared off by their spicy nature.
But radishes are one of the best vegetables out there! They’re usually known for just being sliced and tossed into salads, which is perfectly fine for a cucumber. But the radish deserves a bit more attention that it gets.
At the La Jolla Open Aire Market, radishes are sold by several vendors.
I’ve got four recipes below for you to try out. Even if you’re radish-resistant, I think that these will give you a change of heart. This spicy and crispy vegetable is far too good to be ignored.
Also, Lupe Figueroa from Valdivia farms says to cook down the tops like you would spinach.
“Sometimes people just want them for the tops!” Figueroa said.
Rad Dish 1 (like the play on words?): Grilled Radishes
Everything’s better grilled, right? Grilling these small roots will add a smoky flavor and bring down their bite. Their texture will also change to more of a potato-y cauliflower texture.
- 1 ½ pounds of radishes, sliced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. butter, cubed
- Salt and pepper or some seasoned salt, to taste
- Wrap everything up in a tin foil packet and grill over high heat for about 20 minutes.
- Unwrap and enjoy as a side to a steak!
Rad Dish 2: Pickled Radishes
I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, and take care – it warns not to use metal when pickling, as it reacts to the acid of the vinegar. Pickling radishes renders them sweet and sour, making them a great snack food.
- 10 red radishes, trimmed, unpeeled, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a clean 1-quart glass jar.
- Add vinegar, salt, and sugar.
- Cover; shake until sugar and salt begin to dissolve.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 days, shaking once a day. *Note: Can be made 1 month ahead (The flavor mellows the longer the mixture pickles). Keep chilled.
Rad Dish #3: Roasted Radishes
Yes, I’m telling you take that roasting pan out again. This dish is another one for those wary of the spicy and intense radish flavor. Roasting it gives it a sweet and mellow flavor, perfect to pair with some roasted chicken.
- 1 pound of radishes, halved or quartered
- 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Spread the radishes out on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Salt and pepper, then squeeze the juice of a half or whole lemon over it.
- Roast at 400 degrees until tender (about 30 minutes, depending on your oven.)
Rad Dish #4: Braised Radishes
This recipe comes from Food Network’s Rachael Ray. This method adds a hit of flavor from a shallot and makes the radishes nice and sweet. Top off your mashed potatoes with these guys.
- 2 bunches radishes, about 1 pound, trimmed of tops and roots
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. butter, cut into bits
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Place radishes in a skillet with stock, butter bits, shallots, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan and bring to a boil.
- Uncover the pan and reduce heat to medium.
- Cook radishes 10 to 12 minutes and if the stock has not cooked away, remove radishes and cook down to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes.