The Radish is the epitome of simplicity when it comes to creating a recipe. The peppery, fresh taste radiates with every bite. Why cover that up with an overpowering dressing or seasoning? There are many foods that lend themselves to being seasoned, spiced, and enhanced with other flavors – I find the radish to be one that speaks for itself. I chose a special bottle of EVOO with a fruity nuance and a peppery finish. It was not peppery enough to compete with the radish’s bite, but enough that I knew it was there. A delicate EVOO will get lost on this one. Fresh parsley, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, good to go.
Master of a few cuisines, go out to dinner for the others.
There are cooks/chefs who learn to master many different cuisines. I have chosen three to work on French, Indian and Italian. For others, I go out to dinner or chance a weak attempt at home. Don’t worry, I will bring this back to radishes.
French cuisine is my first love. I remember exactly when and where it happened – my grandmother’s apartment in NYC, perched on a Manhattan Ma Bell phonebook (I wonder what children sit on to reach the table nowadays). It was a bowl of consommé. It was clean and it had a body to it that I knew was different than a chicken broth based soup. Maybe I did not spell it out in so many words, but it is one of my first food memories.
Food has been my life. There are many French recipes that are highly technical and take hours to make, but there is a simplicity to French cuisine for daily cooking, and that is where most of my inspiration comes from.
In a Curry – always:
Indian cuisine is an entirely different technique and method. Spices are bloomed, cooked dry in many cases and then reconstituted to make the most robustly flavored sauce you can savor. When I trained with Julie Sahni, it was one of the most amazing cooking experiences of my life. I felt like a babe in the kitchen and the world was looking shiny and new. When I do a full Indian dinner, I start at 6am to have dinner on the table by 8pm. I have learned to make some spice blends to have on hand for daily cooking, but that is an adaptation from the real Indian cooking methods.
La Dolce Vita:
Italian cuisine – what’s not to love about a simple, fresh tomato sauce seasoned with a few fresh basil leaves, salt, pepper and some freshly sautéed onions? Fresh pasta is abundant, and I always have dry on hand. Take your pick based on what it is being served with. There is a lot more to Italian cooking than a simple tomato sauce, and again, every now and then I do something more complex, but for day-to-day cooking, this is a wonderful cuisine to master.
Have a favorite food memory you want to share? We’d love to hear about it.
What does this all have to do with radishes?
A lot. There is something to understanding the simplicity of flavor that is at your fingertips with a particular ingredient. Sometimes it’s ok to let the radish stand alone. And not just radishes, but carrots, tomatoes, fish…lots of foods are delicate in flavor and should not always be overpowered. I love curried carrots, but I also love the earthiness of a fresh from the garden picking to either bite into or sprinkle with a dusting of sea salt.
Recipes are about getting you into the kitchen.
My goal is to get you into the kitchen, to inspire you to find fresh ingredients, and to help you think of those ingredients as a spring board for other ways to try them. It is not just about my recipes, and why I try to include other recipes that will give you ideas beyond my post. Some have more ingredients, some are more technical in method, but all are meant to get you to want to cook and eat at home.
Spring as a starting block.
Spring is when the vegetables move from root to shoot. We’ve been eating potatoes, beets, and parsnips for months. Look around, the world is green and becoming colorful. Bring that burst of color to the table. Radishes are one of the first vegetables that we glom onto in the spring, and having spring in Berlin for round one, and then again in June when back in Maine, it is a double dose.
Radish top pesto.
Did you know you can eat the tops of radishes too? Yes, those green tops that you have been tossing in the bin all these years or composting – STOP! Make a radish top pesto! Serve it on chicken, fish, grilled halloumi, fresh cheese ravioli.
Other ways to enjoy spring radishes:
Fried Egg on Toast w/ Salted Herb Butter & Radishes (bonappetit.com)
Asparagus, Bacon & Radish Frittata (apleasantlittlekitchen.com)
Radish & Butter Sandwich (saveur.com)
Remove the radish tops, save for pesto. Wash and slice the radishes. Trim stem and root ends. Place in serving dish. Drizzle a really good EVOO over the radishes. Wash and remove the leaves from the parsley. Place in serving dish with the radishes. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss and serve! Eat as a side, or make some bow-tie pasta and mix together for a main course, or more hearty side. May be served at room temp with the pasta.
Radish & Parsley Salad
Remove the radish tops, save for pesto.
Wash and slice the radishes.
Trim stem and root ends.
Place in serving dish.
Drizzle a really good EVOO over the radishes.
Wash and remove the leaves from the parsley.
Place in serving dish with the radishes.
Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Toss and serve!
Eat as a side, or make some bow-tie pasta and mix together for a main course, or more hearty side. May be served at room temp with the pasta.