Basically the only vegetable I can grow without a hitch is a radish. Radishes are one of springs first offerings and they keep producing in rotating crops through out the growing season. My little daughters love plucking them from the garden rows, washing them in the sink quickly, only to eat their tangy flesh with exclamations regarding their differing levels of “spicy-ness”.
They are a gardener’s ace. Late to plant you say? Plant a radish. Have kids who can’t keep their hands out of the beds long enough for things to germinate? Plant a radish. Birds eating your seeds? Plant a radish. You cannot go wrong. Plus they grow so darn quick, 28 days from seed to table, there isn’t a reason not to plant a radish. I basically couldn’t resist and ordered three varieties from Foundroot this spring just to have an array of colors!
Early in the season they are delicious sliced paper thin and layered onto toast with creamy smashed avocado, fresh cracked pepper and flaky sea salt. Mid summer they shine pickled gracing appetizer platters and sandwiches aplenty. No reason there not to plant a radish. Unless of course you don’t like radishes, and in that case I say roast them…
My husband will be the first to tell you he does not like radishes, often lamenting the rows they take up in our garden. Roasted however is another story. By fall we all are looking for something warm but fresh still embodying the taste of the growing season – I say these roasted radishes are it.
Roasting mellows their spice, leaving a juicy, flavorful root vegetable that will wow any discerning dinner guest or radish hater…
Roasted Radishes (side dish for 4)
- 12-16 large radishes, greens attached
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, halved
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and cut the greens from radish bulbs leaving a bit of stem if you’re feeling fancy. Halve or quarter radishes lengthwise so they are all uniform thickness. In a medium bowl toss radishes and any greens you’d like to cook along side (I suggest a leave or two from each bulb) in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, set aside.
Line a 12 inch cast iron skillet with a sheet of parchment paper and dump radishes & greens tossed with oil and vinegar into the pan. Turn all radishes cut side down and tuck in half a clove of garlic throughout the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roast 15-20 minutes until the flesh bubbles on the radishes and they are softened to a fork’s touch. Serve immediately with fresh buttered bread or may I suggest along side a salmon fillet hot off the grill – taking full advantage of the warm days we have left before the frost!