I really love radishes, their crunchy and crisp texture and lightly spicy flavor remind me how much I love good produce. They evoke wonderful childhood memories of eating them directly from my Mom's wonderful vegetable garden. My favorite way to eat them is to give them a quick ice water bath to crisp them up as much as possible and then dip them in Maldon sea salt. It's the perfect way to enjoy them.
But, I decided recently to try roasting them. I've been roasting all the typical root vegetables all Winter but realized I'd never roasted my beloved radish. I knew they would soften in flavor as well as texture and that their spiciness would virtually disappear. I created a simple dish and combined them with Brussels Sprouts, another winter favorite. Here are my "Roasted Radishes with Brussels Sprouts and Tarragon Butter."
You can see the color mutes quite a bit after roasting the radishes. The flavor softens so much that they are no longer spicy at all and they take on a flavor more similar to turnips. Although, they definitely still taste like subtle radishes. The earthy Brussels Sprouts are a terrific complementary element and this simple side dish is fresh and light, and reminds one just how delicious quality fresh vegetables can be.
Here's my very simple recipe.
6-8 fresh radishes, washed and quartered, save four radish greens
6-8 fresh Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 T. grapeseed oil
1 whole star anise
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T. butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Wash and quarter radishes and sprouts. Pull off some of the individual leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Remove the greens from four of the radishes and slice into thin strips.
2. Place the grapeseed oil in a large oven-safe skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the radishes and sprouts and saute until they are just beyond raw, and starting to brown on the edges as in the photo below.
3. Add the star anise, season with salt and pepper. Mix the butter and the tarragon together into a paste and add to the pan. Toss everything together and place into the oven.
4. Roast for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender and there are brown and crispy edges to the Brussels Sprouts. Remove from the oven and pour lemon juice over the veggies. Toss together and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.