The radish may be the most underrated vegetable in my garden right now. I almost missed the fact that they were ready to be pulled had my daughter not spotted their little heads poking out out of the dirt this week. I still feel that sense of wonder when a fully grown vegetable gets pulled from the earth from a tiny seed we planted just a month or two ago. I tried a new variety of red and purple radishes from Row 7 Seed Company this year and so far have been pleased with the result. A radish is one of those snacking vegetables, delicious and crunchy straight from the ground (maybe after a little scrubbing to remove the dirt), but all they really require are a good wash and perhaps a dash of salt or even better a schmear of butter and then a dash of salt.
If you have the time to toss a few radishes on a baking sheet with a little olive oil (or butter) the vegetable transforms into a dish itself. These are two of my favorite radish recipes right now, ones that believe it or not my kids actually start asking for when we start to harvest our little radishes. The roasted radishes with pesto is a little more involved but I love that it incorporates the entire vegetable into the radish green pesto. The pesto is simple enough that even my daughter started making it herself. Both were delicious enough to win the kids over, which for radishes is quite impressive!
Roasted Radishes with Radish Green Pesto and Yogurt
- For Radishes:
- 2 large bunches of radishes, greens trimmed and reserved
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 greek yogurt or creme fraiche For Pesto:
- 2 bunches radish greens, rinsed and dried well
- 1/2 cup pistachios or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- To toast radishes: Toss the radishes with oil, salt and pepper on baking sheet coating the radishes well. Spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 mins, tossing once or twice, until golden brown.
- Meanwhile to make pesto: Pick over radish greens and discard and yellow pieces. Immerse in cold water swishing them around to remove dirt, sand and grit. Spin dry, then place in the bottom bowl of a food processor along with the pistachios, oil, lemon zest, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
- To assemble: Spread the yogurt or creme fraiche on the bottom of a flat platter. Put the radishes on top and drizzle with 2-3 tbs pesto or as desired, sprinkle with pistachios or pine nuts if using and serve.
Roasted Radishes with Butter
- 2 large bunches of radishes, trimmed
- 3 tbs salted or unsalted butter (European style a plus), cut into small pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 lemon
- Flakey sea salt
- Assortment of fresh herbs (basil, dill mint), chopped.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Halve large radishes. Scatter on a baking sheet and dot with butter pieces. Season with salt and pepper and roast until radishes are tender about 15-20 mins.
- Remove the pan from oven and add the arugula. Squeeze the lemon over the top, season with flaky salt and pepper