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Radishes & Radish greens - Roasted, sautéed, pickled, , mashed, etc….

  • s
  • Stanley Stephan Feb 4, 2003 03:33 AM
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Radishically long.

I have this Lavender Salt from Eatwell Farms that’s been mentioned before on the board. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful stuff ,,, French sea salt with dried lavender. However, lavender is assertive and at this point I‘m thinking of putting it in my will as I suspect I won’t finish it in my own lifetime.

So there I am in a produce store with seven different types of radishes nestled in lovely deep green leaves. Pretty multi-colored radishes, white, pink, lavender, magenta, scarlet, deep red, plum, red topped with red bottoms. Some are round and some are long and skinny like baby carrots.

They beckoned me to come closer. I resisted. I hate radishes. Then I remembered the French eat radishes with butter and salt for breakfast and … Voila … a way to use up that Lavender salt. Being on a diet, the butter part of this was out.

One person, seven bunches of radishes. I frantically searched the web for recipes. I mean, there are only so many raw radishes you can eat.

I found you can eat the greens - raw, pickled or braised. Maybe because these were the first Spring radishes (in Calif), the greens were almost like a sorrel. Really pleasant sour grass type of taste. I would have expected them to be mustard green like, but these weren’t. Regardless of the variety, all tasted the same. Only the leaf shape was different.

The radishes themselves can be raw, roasted, boiled or mashed..

So here is my radish odyssey and one of my rare forays into cooking. You must keep in mind that I’m a KISS cook. Grating radishes is not my idea of keeping it simple, so I passed on those. (As an aside, speaking of a real kiss, one site mentioned that the Ancient Greeks and Romans thought radishes were aphrodisiacs ).

Also I’m on a diet so bread and soup was out. The radish soup had lots of butter. Also eliminated were bagels, cream cheese and thinly sliced radishes as well as radishes with goat cheese. At the end is a link for a radish dip that involves sour cream, and other excellent and diet defying ingredients. For future reference.

The recipes (restated below) tried in order of success were
- pickled radish greens, nice and crunchy. Surprisingly pleasant and addictive.
- Raw radish greens mixed with green salad, pine nuts, chicken and orange slices
- Cottage cheese salad with sliced radishes, oranges and cinnamon
- Roasted radishes with lavender salt
- Sautéed or braised radish greens. Really spinach tasting.
- Orange and Radish Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette
- Radish with radish greens (you really needed Tamiri and sesame seed oil which I didn’t have).Beautiful picture at end
- Braised Radishes With Red Wine Vinegar
- Sautéed Radishes
- Mashed radishes. Yeah, as bad as it sounds. .

There are some radish tips at the bottom of the post.

First …. the radishes

Cherry Belle - Cherry tomato red and round. Typical radish flavor

Easter Egg - Oval like tiny Easter eggs with similar colors - reddish purple, lavender, pink, rose, scarlet, white. Very pretty bunch. Not as peppery.

Plum Purple - the largest, about ½ the size of a plum with a deep magenta color. Very mild. I would vote these the radish for the radish hater. Nice crunch without the spicy kick back.

French Breakfast - Oblong red with a white tip. Not too spicy with a mild radish taste.

Icicle - well, they are bright white and shaped like icicles. Spicy type radish with a bit of an after kick. The most pungent taste, IMO.

Italian - A deep scarlet tapered radish like a baby carrot. Medium burn.

Sparkle - Spicy round red radish with a white bottom.

The Recipes

It seems that sesame seeds, oranges, butter, salt, chives and sesame oil compliment radishes. I didn’t have the sesame ingredients, butter or chives.

PICKLED RADISH GREENS

This was a shocker. So simple yet so satisfying. Recipe on the web credited to "Japanese Country Cookbook, " by RussRudsinski. I‘m restating the recipe and giving an alternate version involving orange blossom honey and, uh, lavender salt. .

1 bunch of young radish greens
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup of water
Soy Sauce to taste

Use perfect leaves, discarding yellow and bruised leaves. Leave whole if small or tear into smaller pieces for larger leaves. Combine all ingredients in a bowl except for Soy Sauce. Refrigerate 30 minutes to several hours.

When serving, drain and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Add soy sauce to taste, if you like. I liked it better without the soy sauce. I‘ll bet some toasted sesame seeds on top of this would be super.

Substituting honey and lavender salt for the salt and sugar wasn‘t as good. .

RAW RADISH GREENS MIXED WITH GREEN SALAD, PINE NUTS, CHICKEN AND ORANGE SLICES

Well, it’s a salad. Use what makes you happy. Again, I really loved the sour taste of the raw radish leaves. I used a white vinaigrette with lavender salt. It worked.

COTTAGE CHEESE SALAD WITH SLICED RADISHES, TANGERINE AND CINNAMON

1 cup cottage cheese
2 - 3 radishes sliced thin. Use different colors
1 small tangerine
cinnamon to taste

The original recipe called for cottage cheese, radishes and salt. In a different recipe radishes were combined with cinnamon and oranges. I thought I’d add these two ingredients. Quite tasty, to me, and colorful. The cottage cheese and tangerines cut the radish spice leaving a pleasant crunch. The original recipe said you could keep it in the fridge for 3 - 5 days.

ROASTED RADISHES WITH LAVENDER SALT

Well, this one used the lavender salt the most successfully. I’ll bet they would be good with roast lamb. The original recipe called for rosemary and regular salt and pepper.

Except for the scarlet Italian radishes, the other radishes lost their color but had a lovely brown papery skin with a creamy center. Inside taste was similar to roasted turnips, but man, oh man, that salted crispy exterior was great. Little tater tot size. I’ll bet radishes would deep fry well, like potatoes.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

The original recipe suggested tossing potatoes, parsnips, onions, radishes, and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put in a single layer in a roasting pan and bake until golden (about an hour). Then sprinkle with thyme.

I just used radishes, olive oil and sprinkled it all with lavender salt. I put a little lavender salt before roasting and added more after they were roasted.

SAUTÉED OR BRAISED RADISH GREENS

Taste like spinach. Sautee or braise like other greens.

You can also just gently boil or steam radish greens until they become limp, then top them with butter and a little salt.

One recipe added sautéed mushrooms.

ORANGE AND RADISH SALAD WITH CINNAMON VINAIGRETTE

It’s the vinaigrette that makes this. I didn’t use the Cumin or Red Pepper

Vinaigrette
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
I stopped here, but the recipe said to also use

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/8 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all of the above.

For the salad use your favorite greens. They suggested spinach. Toss with orange slices and thinly sliced radishes. Top with lightly toasted sliced almonds.

RADISH WITH RADISH GREENS

1 bunch of radishes with its greens
1/2 a medium sized onion
One tablespoon of olive oil

The actual recipe didn’t have olive oil, but had the following instead:

1 Tablespoon of tamari or shoyu
1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Chop the onions. Sautee the onions and add small whole radishes and greens. Keep sautéing for another 1 or 2 minutes. Add very little water and cook with a lid till the greens are tender but keeping its rich green color. Add tamari for taste

BRAISED RADISHES WITH RED WINE VINEGAR

Eh. I didn’t use the butter. I think that may have mattered. No chives either.

One bunch of radishes.
2 1/2 Tbls sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
½ cup water.
1 Tbl fresh chives

Combine all ingredients except chives in a sauce pan. Radishes should be in a single layer. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer 5 - 10 more minutes until radishes are tender. Remove radishes and keep warm. Reduce liquid until it is like a glaze. Throw the radishes back in and coat. with glaze. Serve with chives sprinkled on top. Sounded better than it tasted. Also the recipe said you could use raspberry vinegar.

SAUTEED RADISHES

I substituted olive oil for the butter and orange juice for the lemon juice. No chives either. Could be why they were only so-so.

! bunch radishes
Boiling salted water
3 Tablespoons butter
Two tablespoons lemon juice.
Fresh chopped chives

Thinly slice radishes and blanch in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. (Ok, I skipped this step also).

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add the lemon juice and blanched radishes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, shaking the pan gently several times. In the last minute, add the fresh chives and stir.

MASHED RADISHES.

Boiled radishes have a sort of turnip like flavor. One site suggested mashing like turnips and adding herbs. Gross, gross, gross. .

RADISH TIPS:

Supposedly you can make radishes crisper by soaking in iced water a few hours. Too much work for me.

The burn of the radish is supposed to be in the skin. if you peel them, they are supposed to be milder. I didn’t find this true. Another site said the "hotness" of radishes results from the length of time they have grown. The radishes either grew too slowly or are too old

There are summer radishes and winter radishes. The summer are small and brightly colored. Large summer radishes can be tough and strong tasting. It is suggested that if you gently squeeze a large radish and it yields to pressure, throw it in your compost pile. For us city folk that means don’t buy them.

Winter radishes are usually white, black or green. It was advised to use black radishes sparingly as they are very pungent

Remove greens before storing in the fridge as they leaves pull the moisture out of the radishes. Otherwise the texture of the radish degrades and the hot flavor intensifies. Maybe that’s why I hate radishes. They are store too long in the supermarket with the leaves on. The leaves will last 2 - 3 days in the fridge.. Radishes kept in the fridge in plastic bags will last 5 - 7 days. Winter radishes can keep up to two weeks.

I didn‘t try it but I read you can freeze cooked radishes and greens just like you would cooked carrots and spinach.

One site suggested dehydrating radish greens for a spicy addition to dishes. I don’t dry foods.

After all of that, I still have a bag o radishes left. Any other suggestions? I AM getting a little tired of both radishes and lavender salt. All of this and I barely made a dent in the salt. Still have 95% of the stuff left.

Link: http://www.canadianliving.com/cooks/r...

Image: http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/par...

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  1. Thanks for the nice post - I have never craved radishes before.

    1. j
      Janet A. Zimmerman

      I used to make a dip with radishes that was pretty good both with other vegetables and with crackers. The original recipe called for cream cheese and lemon juice, but I've successfully substituted yogurt cheese and it's still good. If you used lowfat yogurt it wouldn't wreck your diet. It's easy, but does require a blender or food processor. If you'd like the recipe, I can post it for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman
        s
        Stabket Stephan

        That would be nice of you to post it Janet.

        I've had my food processor two years and used it exactly once since it was such a pain to assemble and then clean, for me. However, as I'm in a cooking mode, I might as well dust it off and see if it still works.
        And there are all those radishes left.

        1. re: Stabket Stephan
          j
          Janet A. Zimmerman

          The original recipe called for 1 cup minced radishes (which is what you need the food processor for), mixed with 8 oz cream cheese, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of fresh mined dill (or a teaspoon or so of dried) and a clove of garlic, minced. The recipe didn't call for salt, but I find you need a little (a half tsp. kosher, more or less). I've added minced chives too (a couple of tablespoons), in which case I omit the garlic.

          I'd imagine that neufchatel or low fat cream cheese would work okay, but I've not tried it.

          When I made it with yougurt cheese, I left out the lemon juice because the yogurt's so much more acidic than the cream cheese. You can decide.

          If you've never made yogurt cheese, you simply need to drain off the liquid from the yogurt. I find the easiest way to do this is to line a strainer with cheesecloth, dump in the yogurt aand wait a few hours. If you don't have cheesecloth, a coffee filter will work too.

          1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman
            s
            Stanley Stephan

            Many thanks. Hmmm, maybe as long as i have the food processor out, I might revisit some of those grated radish recipes. I'm thinking tho those are more for Daikon radishes, like those wonderful Vietnamese Daikon cakes.

            I mean, Valentines Day is coming up. I will have to test that aphrodesiac theory out.

      2. b
        Beau Noppatee

        Thank you for that post. The farmer's market I go to has had beautiful radishes, many varieties including the ones that look like parsnips and are mild enough to eat raw, these past weeks. The bunches are so pretty I swore to go back with a camera. Now I'm going back with your recipes in hand and the camera in the other hand.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Beau Noppatee
          s
          Stanley Stephan

          The only tip I would add is that as soon as you get home from the market, removed the greens from the radish and refrigerate both.

          The radishes were a little wet when I brought them home and I thought that I'd leave them out on the counter to dry a bit before refrigerating.

          The greens are really perisable and started wilting. Even the radishes lost some of their bright color.

        2. I love radishes. I printed out your post, and I can't wait to get to the store. Thanks for the ideas.

          1. Thank you. As it happens I have a bagful right now, and some of them are going to wind up in these recipes.

            This isn't really a diet idea, but radishes are a classic beer snack. I first tried them this way in Munich around a decade ago -- big black radishes, sliced in very thin curls and served with salt -- and frankly I didn't get it at the time. Nice radish, I thought. Pass the sausage.

            Some years later I was sitting around the kitchen on a warm afternoon with some good radishes, one of those French varieties that are a gorgeous magenta at the center. Had a bottle of Spaten in the fridge too, and decided to revisit the beer-radish connection. I sliced them very thin crosswise, salted them lightly, let them sit a couple of minutes until they started to sweat a bit, and tasted them with the beer. Delicious -- the sweetness of malt plus radish, the hops, the radish heat, the salt. Now I'm hooked. Though I still go for sausage and peanuts, too.

            1. I make a salad with steamed asparagus, arugula and sliced radishes, tossed with a lemony vinaigrette. If anyone wants I can post the recipe.

              2 Replies
              1. re: M. Allen
                s
                Stanley Stephan

                I'd be interested. The first aspargus is rumored to be appearing at the SF farmer's market this week. It would give me a chance to use up my remaining radishes. Thanks.

                1. re: Stanley Stephan

                  Vinaigrette

                  1 tsp grate orange peel
                  1tb oj
                  1tb lemon juice
                  1 tsp dijon
                  salt and pepper
                  3tb olive oil

                  Combine ingredients and slowly whisk in oil.

                  Salad

                  1lb asparagus peeled and halved
                  2c arugula
                  2c mixed greens/leaf lettuce
                  10 radishes thin sliced

                  Bring 1 inch of water to boil in pan. Add asparagus and cook until crisp tender. Drain and place in bowl, toss with 2tb of vinaigrette. Allow to cool. Toss greens with remaining vinagrette. Sprinkle radishes on top of greens and top with asparagus. You can add more radishes if you like or use a different vinagrette to change the taste. I have also made this without peeling the asparagus. Hope you like it.

              2. Well, Stanley, a few weeks back you got me thinking garlic bread, which started a brief but rewarding run of great late-night snacks. Now it's radishes. A quick survey of my bookshelf yielded a few more ideas. Some are for Asian radishes, larger and milder than the ones you have on hand. But they might work anyway. I was surprised to read in "Chez Panisse Vegetables" that from French breakfast to daikon, they're all one species, Raphanus sativa, but so diverse because of centuries of cultivation over such a wide geographical range.

                In Asian cuisines they're often simmered, usually as a secondary ingredient with meat or poultry, but sometimes alone. At Lakuni in San Mateo, dinner may begin with a delicious round chunk of daikon, stewed until soft in seaweed broth, flavored by a little soy sauce and mirin (sweetened sake). "Bruce Cost's Asian Ingredients" (Morrow, 1988) has a simple country-style Chinese dish:

                RADISH IN ORANGE PEEL SAUCE (serves 6)

                2 pounds radish, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
                1 or 2 pieces dried orange peel
                1/4 cup Shaoxing wine or sherry (Cost recommends Pagoda brand, in a blue-labeled bottle)
                2 cloves garlic, chopped
                1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
                1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
                1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1/4 cup water
                3 tablespoons peanut oil
                3 green onions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths

                Soak the orange peel in the wine for a half hour, scrape off any white pith, chop the peels finely and put them back in the wine. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, salt and water.

                Heat a wok or skillet on high, add the oil, toss in the radish and saute briefly, stirring. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add the orange peel and wine; cook until the liquid evaporates.

                Stir in the soy sauce mixture, lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Peek in there occasionally and add water if it's too dry.

                Uncover the pan, raise the heat and reduce the sauce, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the green onion and serve.

                DAIKON ROUNDS WITH HOT SESAME SAUCE (serves 4)

                Lesley Downer, in "Japanese Vegetarian Cooking" (Pantheon, 1986), offers a Japanese version that gets a kick from a sesame-mustard sauce. You're right; sesame and radish seem to have an affinity.

                1/2 large or 2 small daikon radishes (hard to translate this into small radishes; if it helps you eyeball it, a large daikon can run up to a foot or a foot and a half in length and 3 inches in diameter)
                salt
                4 tablespoons white sesame seeds
                2 tablespoons white miso
                2 teaspoons honey or mirin
                1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
                warm water or dashi

                Peel the daikon and cut it into 1-inch-thick slices. Donner (and other cookbook writers) suggest that you bevel the top and bottom edges; that's a slightly fussy, mostly presentational step, which I'd say you could skip if so inclined. Put the daikon in a saucepan with lightly salted water to cover. Bring it to a boil and simmer 20 to 40 minutes, until daikon is soft. Drain and divide the daikon among four shallow bowls.

                While the daikon cooks, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until lightly browned. Set some aside for garnish and grind the rest in a mortar until oily. Mix in the miso, honey or mirin, and mustard. Stir well and dilute with dashi or warm water, until the sauce is thick and creamy.

                Top each daikon round with a spoonful of sauce. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds as a garnish, and serve.

                RADISH TOP SOUP (serves 4 to 6)

                I wouldn't give up on the soup idea. Here's a pureed soup that should still work if you cut back on the butter; it calls for cream, but that can be omitted. It's from Marian Morash's "Victory Garden Cookbook" (Knopf, 1982), and Morash says it has a hint of watercress flavor.

                6 tablespoons butter (I'd say you could substitute another oil for at least 4 tablespoons, as well as reducing the overall amount)
                1 cup chopped onion
                8 cups loosely packed radish leaves
                2 cups diced peeled potatoes
                6 cups liquid (water, chicken stock or a combination)
                salt
                1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
                freshly ground pepper

                Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a pot, add the onions and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the radish greens, stir to mix, cover the pot, turn the heat down to low and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the greens are wilted.

                Bring the liquid to a simmer in another pan, add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook until the potatoes are soft.

                Combine with the radish greens and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree the mixture finely. Return it to the pot, add cream if you're using it, heat through and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter (even half that amount just might do the trick). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

                1 Reply
                1. re: squid-kun
                  s
                  Stanley Stephan

                  Thanks. Who knew there was more to a radish than a salad decoration.

                  I might venture into Daikon radishes (if not actually cooking, more ordering). I really like Vietname Daikon cakes as I said before.

                  Thanks for the additional recipes. I guess for me, this is the year of the radish. I'll be checking them out at the farmers markets.

                  The one thing I really liked about the roasted radishes (which I made again tonight) is that other than the olive oil they have practically no calories, unlike potatoes.

                  I forgot who posted about the beer and radishes, but the next time I have a beer I'm going to have to try that out.

                2. Thanks for the great recipes!!!
                  I recently "rediscovered" radishes, they looked so beautiful and fresh at the grocers that I bought a few bunches. They have a refreshing crisp and peppery flavour.