My grandad was obsessed with radishes. In summer he used to wonder around eating them like apples and I could never understand why. To my young palate they were too hot and peppery and I did not like them. When I got older and more interested in food I found radishes bland. By that time my grandad had passed and I wondered why he had been so delighted by them. Then I started growing my own and I realised radishes do have flavour but not if you buy them from a supermarket. The radishes we had from Organic Pantry a couple of weeks ago were really flavourful and a perfect example of why getting a veg box is great. Seasonal, fresh and grown with love they are like the radishes my grandad ate. They are a treat.
I mainly eat radishes raw in salads but sometimes I like to cook them. The flavour changes and if you roast them at a high temperature for a few minutes they’re still crunchy and peppery and also caramelised. Finish with some butter and maybe a few fresh tarragon leaves and you have a perfect side dish.
This recipe makes the most of the more complex cooked radish with a tangy sauce and is great as a little summer starter. I adapted the recipe from a Simon Rogan one where he adds aubergine. I didn’t have aubergines but added beans for texture and wild garlic leaves for aroma. I also added a few quick pickled radishes for a bit of zing and crunch. Once you have made the sauce and roasted the radishes you can really play around with the garnishes depending on what you have in your fridge or cupboard.
Ingredients : (Serves 2)
For the sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or whatever you have, a flavourless oil works best)
1 shallot or small onion
20g mushrooms (white or chestnut)
1 tsp tomato puree
100g thinly sliced radishes
200ml vegetable stock
1-2 tsp sherry vinegar (or any sharp vinegar)
1 tsp butter
8-10 whole radishes
Blanched flat or french beans
Vegetable oil or ghee for roasting
Takes about half an hour, the sauce can be prepared ahead and reheated
Thinly slice the onion and gently sautee in a small saucepan with the oil until the onion is translucent.
Thinly slice the mushrooms, add and sautee those for 3-4 minutes
Add the tomato puree and continue to fry and stir for a couple of minutes until you start to smell the sweetness of the tomato.
Add the radishes and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the radish is tender. Blitz and if you’re feeling fancy pass through a sieve to make a smooth sauce. Add the vinegar and butter to season and if you want to a pinch of salt. It may not need it if you’re vegetable stock was salty.
While making the sauce heat up your oven and roasting tray to 200 degrees.
Prepare your whole radishes for roasting by cleaning & cutting the larger ones in half. Add the oil and radishes to your warmed roasting tray and a season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 10-12 minutes. They should still be firm but have some give if pushed with a fork.
To serve: Make sure the sauce, beans and radishes are hot and garnish whatever herbs, oils, pickles or other vegetables you have to hand.