Raw radishes are strong, to put it lightly. My husband was quite put-off by the uniquely spicy flavor that assaulted his senses when I showed him our latest CSA haul. I enjoy the sharp taste, but could not see myself stomaching the whole bunch shaved onto an endless succession of radish-y salads. Surely, I thought, there must be another way to enjoy these beautiful veggies.
Radishes are an ingredient that I had associated with health-nuts, believing that they were a vegetable to be tolerated for health benefits, but not enjoyed. I was doubtful (as you might be, as well) of the palatability of the cooked radishes that I came across while flipping through recipes. However, I (and the two carnivores that I fed this dish to) can attest that it is absolutely addictive!
These long and beautiful radish specimens are called “French Breakfast Radishes.” The reason that they were given this name is unclear; the French do enjoy radishes, but not for breakfast.
The beauty of radishes is showcased every Christmas-season in fantastic carvings displayed in marketplaces across Oaxaca, Mexico, as documented in my favorite podcast: Gastropod. Even if you can’t bring yourself to eat radishes, you’ve got to admit that they really are lovely!
Unfortunately, I failed to take a good photo that showcases the final form of the cooked radishes, as they are overshadowed by a poached egg (picture below), so you’ll just have to make it and see for yourself! Or you can check out the photos and original recipe from The Kitchn.
Recipe: Braised Radishes & Bacon
Inspired by a recipe from The Kitchn
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices bacon, diced
1/2 pound of onions (diced) or shallots (sliced horizontally)
1 pound radishes ( 2 bunches) cut into quarters
All radish greens, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a skillet over medium-high heat: heat butter & bacon for 5 minutes.
Place radishes cut-side down in pan and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes.
Add shallots/onions and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Add red wine and chicken stock. Cover skillet, lower heat to a simmer for 8 minutes.
Remove lid, then add turnip greens and dried parsley. Stir and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Pair with red quinoa (1 cup simmered in 2 cups chicken broth for 15-20 minutes) as well as a poached egg.