Food that is in season is abundant and as fresh as can be. On the other hand excess of a single item can prove to be a challenge when deciding how to prepare it. Such was the case with our radishes. Of course everybody knows about putting radishes on salads but what do you do with a bumper crop? A salad only requires a few and I would still be putting radishes on salad a year from now if they kept that long. With a generous measure of radishes on hand I set about coming up with some creative ways to use them. I skipped over the thought of pickling them. We can only consume so many pickles. My next thought was to create chips. After all, what can't be made even more tasty by frying? With a nod to pretending to keep them healthy I used olive oil although they probably don't qualify as a vegetable any more. Next I set aside a few for grilling. For this I selected small radishes of similar diameter. My third creation was sauteed radishes with proscuitto. All three creations turned out great. The recipes follow.
Radish Crisps with Rosemary and Sea Salt
Thinly sliced Radishes
Equal parts of Olive oil and Peanut oil
Select the largest radishes for the best crisps. The taste is no different but the radish slices shrink during cooking so the chips are pretty small. Leave a portion of the stalk on to use as a handle if slicing with a mandolin slicer. I sliced mine .75mm thick.
Use a deep pan to minimize spattering. Heat the oil on medium-high. Test the oil by dropping in a single slice. If it immediately begins to sizzle then the oil is ready. Separate each slice as you add them to the oil so that they do not stick together. Do not over crowd the pan. A single layer is fine. Cook until the chips begin to brown. This takes about 5-7 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. They won't be completely crisp like a potato chip so this is not a method meant for long term storage.
Place equal parts of sea salt and rosemary in a spice grinder (a coffer grinder reserved for use with herbs and spices). Give it a whir to combine then lightly sprinkle over the chips. These are very tasty on their own but can add a pleasant twist to any dish. A grilled steak topped with these is terrific. They would also be great on a burger.
Grilled Radishes on a Stick
5-6 Small radishes per person
Salt & Pepper
Select small cherry-size radishes that are of similar diameter. Slide 5 or 6 radishes onto each skewer. Juice the orange and combine the juice with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Use your judgement on how much of each is needed depending on the quantity of skewers you have created.
Grill over medium heat so the brown a bit as they heat through. I started mine over indirect heat to allow them to cook for about 10 minutes, turning as often as necessary to prevent scorching, before moving them over the direct heat to brown if needed once everything else is ready.
Sauteed Radishes with Tarragon and Wine
2 Slices Proscuitto
2-3 Cloves Garlic
4 oz. White wine
Slice each of the radishes in half so the have a flat surface to come in contact with the pan for browning. Larger radishes can be quartered.
|Deglaze with wine and simmer until reduced.|
Variation: Substitute bacon for the proscuitto and add onions to the recipe.
And a Bonus (4th way)
This one isn't really a recipe so I didn't count it as one of the ways to prepare radishes but it is still worth a mention.
When visiting France a few years ago we were served radishes with butter and salt as a first course. Although to us it seemed an odd way to eat radishes we found that they were surprisingly good like this. The fat of the butter serves to tame the bite of the radishes. Use unsalted butter and place a small mound of salt on your plate. Smear a sliver of butter on the radish and lightly touch into the salt. Enjoy!