Butter-Braised Radishes

May 22, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More

butter-braised radishes

Is there any vegetable less glamorous than the humble radish? It grows in the dirt and most people have no idea what a good one tastes like. As a kid, I knew them as those red bitter things that were sliced paper thin and used to garnish crappy iceberg lettuce restaurant salad. In a feeble attempt to locate any flavor lurking in the salad, I would lay these red-outlined disks to the side and proceed to dip the croutons and the pitiful watery tomato wedges in the bleu cheese salad dressing.

Then, when Mr. President and I joined a CSA program before I started growing food in our yard, I discovered that all radishes are not created equal. The farm we belonged to grew a variety of radishes – some bitter, some mild, some red, some pink. But absolutely all of them were unlike the radishes of my childhood. I now love them as a snack, topping a good spring salad or sliced thin and layered on buttered rye toast.

Radishes are one of the easiest and fastest vegetables you can grow in the spring and fall – most will mature in just 30 days. I sow them around slower growing crops like broccoli because they will be harvested long before the broccoli gets big. Watermelon radishes are a favorite for their satisfying crunch and beautiful color, but I also grow a mild Polish variety called Zlata and French Breakfast.

butter-braised radishes

Zlata radishes from the garden

When I get lots of radishes at once, I start looking for new ways to enjoy them. This year, I discovered a wonderful recipe for butter-braised radishes from Fine Cooking that incorporates both the radish root and the green tops. If you think you don’t like radishes, I challenge you to try them cooked. Cooking, and especially braising in flavorful liquid, mellows out any bitterness considerably.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 3/4 pound fresh radishes or about two bunches (try some different varieties if you have access), scrubbed clean with greens removed and reserved

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

Sea salt

butter-braised radishesStep one:

1 3/4 pound fresh radishes

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth

butter-braised radishesTrim the radishes and slice them into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Trim and discard the stems from the reserved green tops and finely chop enough leaves to measure about 1/4 cup. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the sliced radishes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes or until radishes begin to soften. Add the broth, bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Step two:

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

Sea salt

Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and add the vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for a few more minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced and thickened. Before serving the butter-braised radishes, sprinkle chopped radish greens over top.

 

 

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Category: Food, Recipes, Side Dishes, Spring

Comments (3)

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  1. shannon buck says:

    This is a beautiful and delicious recipe. I am making this for dinner tonight!!! Thanks for the wonderful fresh recipes.

    Cheers!

    Shannon

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