Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ask the Internet: Radish Recipes?

This week's question comes from reader Allison.

Q: The other week I was perusing the veggie section and came across these massive red radishes, and I wondered, What could I do with radishes besides slice them up raw for salads? Can they even be cooked? They never appear in any recipes I read. (I feel like maybe I have seen them in an Asian recipe, but I very rarely cook any kind of Asian cuisine at home, so I could be wrong.) I suppose I could steam some up and try but hey, that's what Ask the Internet is for, right?

A: Hi Allison! I have to admit, I'm not a big radish fan myself (also see: mayonnaise, Michael Bolton, wedgies), but Leigh (of Veggie Might fame) likes 'em muchly. Her write-up of Braised Radishes with Tarragon looks particularly enticing.

Beyond that ... readers? It's a non-Thanksgiving question! Yay! Go crazy.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time CHG reader, but I've never commented before. However, I have such a good radish recipe, that I have to. This salad marinates the radishes, so they have no bite--it is a delicious combination!

1 bunch radishes
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup toasted pecans
3 T honey
2 T rice vinegar
salt and pepper

Remove greens and slice radishes in half. Lay halves flat and slice them
into half moons.

Toast the pecans on a cookie sheet at 300 for 15 minutes or until a toasty aroma is present.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.

shris said...

Yes, you can cook radishes. They lose their heat when they are cooked until softened. They gain a cabbagey flavor. The pink ones retain their pinkness, which makes them really pretty in soups.

You can roast them with butter and seasonings if you like, but my family finds them a bit strong, so we cut them up into soups, sautes with other vegetables, spaghetti sauces, meat dishes.. We like them a lot with beef.

We get radishes a lot from the CSA, far more than we can actually eat, unfortunately, so we share them with neighbors also.

I think you can also eat the greens, but I have not done so--we get a lot of other varieties of greens from the CSA also.

Autumn said...

Used to HATE radishes, then had some sous-vide on an asparagus salad with truffle vinaigrette (reason why I ordered it) and like shris said, they get cabbagey and peppery but not hot when cooked.

I started sous-videing them at home in a crock pot in 180degree water inside a food saver bag with some garlic and butter until soft, usually about 45 minutes. I would make up a bunch and then eat what we wanted, and then saute the leftovers for another meal. The leftovers were almost better than the original.

If anyone is wondering, I got the sous-vide info from seriouseats somewhere on their site about not needing the fancy equipment and how you can do it at home with stuff you already have (like crock pot). Someday I want to try it with meat, but I figured veggies were safer to start with. . . can't get salmonella from a underboiled radish (I hope)

corrie71 said...

Here's my favorite:


SOOOO good!

Ellen said...

I found a fantastic radish and snap pea salad. Also, you can pickle them. I used a quick Japanese pickling recipe and they were delicious!

* 1 bunch of radishes, trimmed
* 1 tsp kosher or other coarse salt

Wash the radishes and trim the ends. Slice into quarters and put in a ceramic or glass (non reactive) bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, rub it in a bit, and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Toss, press and squeeze the radishes to get rid of excess moisture, then rinse under running water to remove the excess salt. Squeeze dry again and put back in the bowl.

* 1/2 cup rice vinegar
* 3 Tbs sugar
* 1/4 tsp salt

Mix the sweet and sour sauce together and pour over the vegetables. In just half an hour, you’ll have a nice lightly pickled radish.

Mariaa said...

I wondered the same thing as you did when I got a bunch of radishes in my CSA box. I stumbled across this recipe for "citrus radish confit," and although it seemed a little strange I tried it, and now I don't want to do anything else with radishes. Ever. It's sweet and tangy and wonderful on top of fish (particularly salmon or tuna steaks).


adventuresindinner said...

I love radishes dipped in whipped butter and then into a plate of fleur de sel. This reminds me of lazy afternoon with lots of wine in France.

They are also great pickled by boiling them for about 1 minute and then using the rice vinegar and honey mixture that Anonymous already posted.

Jenny said...

Like shris said, you can roast them. They are a nice accent roasted with other root vegetables. Also, if you do Indian food, you could do an Indian style vegetable lentil stew with radishes. They are good with spices like cumin and coriander. If you simmer sliced radishes until soft, they lose their bite. This works with the big Daikon radish as well.

lorigami said...

Our local mexican restaurant serves them VERY lightly roasted with black bean tacos and quesadillas, and they are a delicious crunchy surprise.

Delilah said...

My bf haaaaaates onions, and no matter how tiny I make them he can still suss them out in a dish. I often use minced radish as a replacement in things I know will suffer for not having the onions... like guacamole, tortilla soup, tuna salad, etc. They work cooked or raw. They don't taste a whole lot like onions, but are the closest thing I've found that he doesn't also hate (he is no fan of scallions or leeks either).

Lauren said...

I don't have a recipe that calls for cooking the radishes, but what I do have is simple and divine: I take a few slices of a baguette or Italian bread, spread some butter on them, cover with thinly-sliced radishes, and top with a sprinkle of flaky salt or sea salt. I believe a version of this shows up sometimes as an English tea sandwich.

Anonymous said...

Dip them in salt.

Jenny Sunshine said...

When we got them in our CSA basket this summer, I made the family try a piece raw dipped in salt like my grandpa had always done- bleh- but I did find that if I sauteed them in a little butter, they were mighty good! Like Shris said- they lose their heat/bite and you can taste more of their sweetness.

Laura said...

My CSA farmer shared this recipe last summer:

Radish Tart is a tasty and colorful pie, best served hot from the oven.
Fresh red radishes and yellow cheese give this pretty pie any interesting look and taste.

* 1 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cold butter - We recommend Evergreen Farms at the Botanic Garden Farmers Market
* 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Edam, Gouda, or Gruyere cheese, divided (chedder is also acceptable)
* 1 cup heavy cream, divided - We recommend Evergreen Farms at the Botanic Garden Farmers Market
* 4 egg yolks Evergreen Farms strikes again!
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 to 1 small bunch of red radishes


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Sift and measure flour into a bowl. Cut in the butter until the particles are coarse. Stir in 1/2 of the cheese. Pour in 1/4 cup of the cream; toss the mixture with a fork until all parts are moistened.
3. Turn the dough into a 9-inch round pie pan. With floured fingers, press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan, then prick the shell with a floured fork.
4. Bake the pie shell for 10 to 12 minutes. (The sides will slip down a little during baking.) Cool on a wire rack.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 325ยบ.
6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Beat together the egg yolks, the 3/4 cup cream, and the salt. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Place the radish slices evenly over the top of the pie.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set.
8. Remove the pie from the oven, cut it into wedges, and serve it hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

* If you really like the taste of radishes, use 1/2 cup or more. For a milder pie, use 1/4 cup.
* The cheese crust has a pleasant crisp texture when eaten fresh out of the oven. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated later, but the texture will not be as good.
* A really sharp knife will aid in cutting the wedges without displacing the radishes.

Allison said...

Hey, everybody - thanks for all the great information, ideas and recipes! I'm looking forward to giving radishes another whirl - with the cold weather approaching, I'm particularly interested in roasting them (sounds like they might be good roasted with Brussels sprouts!) Ask the Internet, FTW!

Worker Bee said...

Oh you can roast them, stir fry them.. drop them into soups they are kinda turnip-ie or even water chestnut-ie.. Roasted is nice.. they really are more versatile and cheap! I went on a radish recipe search recently too and was nicely surprised.

Anonymous said...

shred the radishes and a kohlrabi or 2 and toss w/ your favorite vinaigrette for a scrummy and tangy slaw

Verve.IS.served said...

Why not take a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the radishes into paper thin coins and lightly saute them in olive oil over medium-high heat? Then perhaps some lemon, curry powder, and paprika whisked into some more olive oil for a dressing? It's like crunchy radish with an Indian spiced vinaigrette. I often add parsley or cilantro for an extra flavor of green.
This is my take on the Indian version of radishes, which I find are often overcooked. The great thing about radishes is that the possibilities are endless, so I don't think you could ever be bored! :-)



Anonymous said...

I make Daikon Hash Browns, from daikon radishes (which are humungous white ones that can be a couple of feet long or more). I don't see why it wouldn't work for big red ones, too. Just grate, add some onion, and saute in some fat of some sort. Duck fat is superb, or you can use bacon fat or vegetable oil, or whatever you happen to have. Cook over low heat, and leave them long enough to get brown and crispy but not burned. Basically, just cook like you would potato hash browns. Salt to taste. They have a bit of a bite, depending on how hot the radishes are, so wait until they are done to add pepper.


Anonymous said...

If you like Indian food, you can make a dish called Sambar. It is lentils cooked with Veg, tamarind and spices. The radish Sambar is a firm favourite in many households. Do give it a try.

tinuviel said...

Apart from sambar (the radishes do become a little mushy for me in that one) you can try another common salad-like dish that I've often loved. It's not cooked radish, but is delish, without the bite of raw radish.

Essentially, you grate up a bunch of radishes and combine it with some well-beaten yogurt and salt, and a tempering of cumin and urad dal (or mustard seeds, if you prefer).

I eat this one by the cupful, it's yummy and tangy.

Jen said...

My husband doesn't like radishes raw, so we cook them all the time at my house! My favorite is to take the pretty breakfast radishes from the farmers' market and saute with butter and salt until tender, and throw in a fresh herb if I have one or not if I don't. I've done it with the giant grocery store radishes too and it's still tasty. But I put them in lots of things!. If I'm making a soup, casserole, pasta dish, roasted veg dish, etc. I toss them in with all the other veg. As others have pointed out, they have a slightly sweet but cabbage-y flavor and a texture that softens but doesn't dissolve. Delicious!

Kate said...

I sautee them in a mixture of butter and olive oil, then add a splash of chicken stock and vinegar and simmer until soft. I eat them layered on bread and butter like an open faced sandwich.

I had NO IDEA people cooked radishes before last summer! They are divine.