I have this Lavender Salt from Eatwell Farms thats been mentioned before on the board. Dont get me wrong, it is wonderful stuff ,,, French sea salt with dried lavender. However, lavender is assertive and at this point Im thinking of putting it in my will as I suspect I wont 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 werent. 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 Im 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 Im 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 didnt 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.
It seems that sesame seeds, oranges, butter, salt, chives and sesame oil compliment radishes. I didnt 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. Im 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. Ill bet some toasted sesame seeds on top of this would be super.
Substituting honey and lavender salt for the salt and sugar wasnt as good. .
RAW RADISH GREENS MIXED WITH GREEN SALAD, PINE NUTS, CHICKEN AND ORANGE SLICES
Well, its 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 Id 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. Ill 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. Ill 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
Its the vinaigrette that makes this. I didnt use the Cumin or Red Pepper
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 didnt 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 didnt 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.
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.
Boiled radishes have a sort of turnip like flavor. One site suggested mashing like turnips and adding herbs. Gross, gross, gross. .
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 didnt 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 dont 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 thats 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 didnt 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 dont 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.