Monday, March 19, 2012

Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter and Lemon

Roasted Radishes

Our wonderful daughter, Cathy, brought this recipe to my attention. She had been invited to a pot luck but her cupboard (and refrigerator) were bare. She only had radishes, a little butter and a lemon. Clever girl – went to and found a recipe, which included these and only these ingredients. Who knew radishes could be so great! I made it once – was amazed – and repeated it shortly thereafter so I could add it to the blog. They are amazing!!! I have often commented that braised (as in previous asparagus post) and roasted vegetables are sublime – this is just one more. They take on a different full, rich flavor – no doubt the butter and lemon help a bit. The brief high-heat roasting softens the radishes and mellows the bite of peppery flavor. The whole recipe will take about 40 minutes to prepare with only about 10 minute of prep.
When shopping, look for radishes that are about as big around as a nickel, firm and brightly colored. Older radishes will crack and split. Leaves are the best indicator of freshness. They wilt and yellow very quickly, so choose bunches with sprightly and fresh-looking greens. Wash them thoroughly, you can gently scrub the radish but don’t peel them; flavor and nutrients reside in the skin. Radishes store best in the refrigerator after the tops have been removed.  But save those greens – for garnish as well as an addition to any salad.  They have the texture of watercress and a bit of the radish flavor.
Fresh radishes
Cut off the leafy greens, but leave a little!
 Preheat your oven to 450 degree F.  Brush a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Thoroughly wash two bunches of medium sized radishes (about 20). Cut off all but ½ inch of the green radish tops; reserve the trimmed tops and rinse well. Coarsely chop the radish tops and set aside.
Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in a bowl. Add 1½ Tb olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes cut side down on the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with coarse kosher salt. Roast in pre-warmed oven until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Remove and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ready for roasting
 Melt 2 Tb butter in a heavy small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until the butter browns.  Watch carefully as it moves from brown to burnt quickly. Swirl the skillet frequently to keep the butter solids from burning. It will only take about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice. Swirl again.
Transfer roasted radishes to a warmed shallow serving dish, and drizzle brown butter over the top. Sprinkle with your reserved chopped radish tops and serve. This is a great side dish to Pork or Lamb or alone!  Give it a try – really.  You do not need to wait until your refrigerator is bare.

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