Radishes

18 06 2009

bundled radish isolatedRadish season is in full swing right now and the vegetable store near my house has a giant basket of them piled high.  They are inexpensive to buy and easy to grow but they’re also a bit of an acquired taste.  Their peppery bite is a bit unusual and sometimes radishes get overlooked because people don’t really know what to do with them.  Typically they get sliced up into a salad but they are also delicious on their own with sea salt or pickled with herbs.  

A few weeks ago I was at a pre-dinner reception and one of the appetizers that came around was a platter of buttered bread topped with radish slices and sea salt.  At first I thought it was a bit odd but the flavour was delicious and made me re-think radishes. It’s actually a classic way to serve radishes and it’s so easy that anyone can pull it together in seconds.  Simply slice some good white bread, top each piece with a healthy slather of butter (do NOT use margarine!), top with thinly sliced radishes and sprinkle with sea salt.  Garnish with chopped choves and fresh ground pepper if desired.

 

A simple appetizer of sliced radishes on bread with butter and sea salt is classic and delicious

A simple appetizer of sliced radishes on bread with butter and sea salt is classic and delicious

Another way to enjoy radishes is to pickle them.  Their sweet/sour/peppery bite makes them an excellent addition to sandwiches, salads or even eaten on their own. This only takes a few minutes to pull together and is a nice change from the usual cucumber based pickles.

Pickled Radishes

Yields about 1-1/2 cups

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 8 large or 16 small radishes (about 2 cups when sliced)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus extra for garnish, if desired)
  • Sea salt, to sprinkle over finished pickles
  1. Trim roots and greens from radishes.  Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut the radishes into thin slices about 1/8″ thick.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme, chives and pepper.  Cover and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat.
  3. Add radish slices and stir to ensure all slices are immersed in liquid.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, drain the liquid from the radishes, remove thyme sprigs and put into a bowl to cool further.  Once cooled, sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with chopped chives and black pepper as desired.  Use as you would regular pickles – on sandwiches, salads, etc.  Radishes will keep covered in the fridge for a few days.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

 

Pickled radishes are great on sandwiches or in salads

Pickled radishes are great on sandwiches or in salads