In the last few months I’ve posted a couple of blogs about radishes (you can trace them back from here), highlighting their wonderful peppery taste, crisp and crunchy texture, and cheerful blush, which is capable of adding a beautiful shot of colour to all kinds of dishes.
Radishes are currently coming towards the middle of their growing season – which extends from the beginning of April to the middle of October – and the ones that I am currently able to buy from my local greengrocer are fabulous specimens, characterised by firm, large bulbs and bright green foliage (which should be removed before storing in the fridge).
I use them a lot in salads, especially at this time of year, and have recently been inspired by Nigel Slater to put them to use in a simple side-salad that also included cucumber, mint and feta, and which is absolutely delightful on a warm summer day. You could also serve it in a pitta for a substantial snack or lunch.
But I’ve also been meaning to cook with them, and finally got around to roasting some – with garlic and rosemary – last weekend, when they were served as a vegetable accompaniment to a roast chicken dinner. It was a great way to eat them; the strong flavours of garlic and rosemary were soaked-up by the radishes, which after 20 minutes of cooking had a relatively soft centre whilst retaining their general structure and firmness. Overall, the dish was sweet, sticky and fragrant. And the radishes turned a wonderful shade of pink.
For more inspiration, I refer you – once again – to the delightful and slightly daft (clearly obsessed) world of Love Radish. But that’s enough from me about radishes. At least for now…
Recipe 1: Radish, Mint and Feta salad
Cucumber – a medium to large one
Radishes – a large bunch
Spring onions – 6
Feta Cheese – 350g
Mint – a small bunch
Flat-leaf parsley – a small bunch
Red Wine Vinegar
Peel the cucumber lightly, removing the coarse skin but leaving behind as much of the bright green that lies directly under the skin as possible. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, then scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard them. Slice each long half lengthways again, then cut each piece into short, fat chunks and tip into a large mixing bowl.
Wash the radishes and top and tail them. Cut them in half or quarters, according to their size, then add them to the cucumber. Trim the spring onions and chop them into thick rings.
Crumble the cheese into small chunks. Tear the mint leaves into large pieces and toss them with the whole parsley leaves, cheese, cucumber, onions and radishes. Drizzle over a little olive oil and vinegar, then grind over a little black pepper.
Recipe adapted from: the kitchen diaries, Nigel Slater
Recipe 2: Roasted Radishes with Garlic and Rosemary
800g radishes, topped and tailed
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
Small bunch of rosemary, stalk removed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Serves 4 as a side dish
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
Put all the ingredients into a medium sized ovenproof dish, mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly caramelised.