Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's had the radish

The radish belongs to the cabbage family.  It gets its name from the Latin word for root, radix. Both the radish and radish greens are edible and can be used in a variety of dishes, including raw in salads or in blended drinks. Radishes are relatively low in calories, high in fiber and rich in potassium, folate, and vitamin C. As an added bonus, radishes are known to relieve indigestion and, better yet, flatulence.
I like to eat radishes straight up with a sprinkle of salt.  I love the zing that slams into the top of my head when I get a particularly spicy one.  Good stuff!

If you grow your own radishes, you can snip the greens to cook and leave the radishes in the ground until you’re ready to use them.

One of my favorite ways to prepare almost any root vegetable is roasting.  Other than the radishes; salt, pepper and olive oil are all you need.  Coat them with the oil and spices then roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes and its snack time!  You can also chop up the greens and roast them with the radishes . . . just make sure to wash them well to remove all the grit.  Drizzle with some lemon juice for a little extra sumthin’.

As a side dish
For a quick side dish – VERY QUICK - sauté the greens in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook until they wilt.  This will happen super fast so keep an eye on them.  Add some slivered almonds and some feta cheese and you’ve got a fancy shmancy side dish.

Something unexpected to do with radishes is to glaze them . . . sweet radishes?  You betcha!  In a heavy saucepan wide enough to hold about a pound of radishes in one layer, cook the radishes in a tablespoon of butter with a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of salt over moderately low heat for one minute, stirring so that the sugar doesn’t scorch.  Add 1/2 cup water, simmer the radishes, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender, and boil them, uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until the liquid has been reduced to a glaze. Cook the radishes over moderate heat, swirling them, until they are coated with the glaze and sprinkle them with minced parsley.

A salad that is cool and hot . . . all at the same time!  Combine two bunches of diced radishes with a 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, 1 finely chopped jalapeño and the juice of one lemon or lime.  Let the radishes marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

As a sandwich 
That’s right . . . I said it . . . radish sandwich.  Kind of like a cucumber sandwich only different.  :)  Don’t knock ‘til you’ve tried it.  What you need – a dozen small fresh radishes, 8 slices of fresh pumpernickel or good white bread cut into quarters, room temperature unsalted butter and coarse salt.  Wash and trim radishes; reserve the greens.  Chill the whole radishes in a plastic container; fill container with enough water to cover the radishes plus 4 to 6 ice cubes, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  When you’re ready to serve, slice radishes into paper thin rounds. Chop or sliver radish leaves. Spread one side of each piece of bread generously with butter. Top with some chopped radish leaves and then cover with the slices of radishes.  Sprinkle with salt.  Excellent with a nice white wine such as pinot gris wine or chardonnay.  Classy!

Red Radish Soup

·         48 Red Radishes, Trimmed
·         2 Sweet Onions, Chopped
·         5 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock Or Broth
·         6 Tablespoons Butter
·         6 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
·         4 Cups Half And Half
·         6 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
·         1 Teaspoon Salt
·         1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
·         1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
·         2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

In large saucepan, combine radishes (I cut them in half), onions and chicken stock or broth.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 35 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. In food processor, puree mixture. Set aside.
In large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add half and half and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, horseradish and mayonnaise. Add pureed radishes.
Heat through.
Radish Green and Leek Soup

·         1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
·         1 Cup Leeks, Chopped (Both White And Green Parts--Wash Well!)
·         3 Medium Potatoes, Chopped
·         6 Radishes, Stems And Tips Removed, Then Chopped
·         3 Bunches Of Radish Greens, Thoroughly Washed (They Can Be Gritty)
·         5 Cups Weak Vegetable Stock
·         Salt And Pepper To Taste
·         1 Tablespoon Butter
·         3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté the leeks in the olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add a Tablespoon or so of water and cook for 4-5 more minutes, til the onions are tender. Stir in the potatoes and radishes and toss over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the radish greens and simmer for 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, puree the soup lightly, solids first, so that there's still a texture to it. Return to the saucepan, stir in the butter and cheese, then ladle into bowls and top with a sprinkling of marinated minced radish.
Garnish: 4 radishes, minced and marinated in a couple drops of balsamic

Something different that’s quick and easy.

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