Confessions on a Radish
I used to buy radishes because they’re beautiful, not because I particularly liked to eat them. You see, every week I have to buy something that gets me excited for the dinners ahead, something vibrant (like radishes) or quietly beautiful (like beetroots). Mostly this works out just fine, but radishes, well, they’re just a little loud for using in large quantities. I prefer to use them almost like a garnish to avoid complete eradishification of flavour. This used to mean radishes slowly growing hairy in my fridge (seriously…they grow little white roots like an old man who hasn’t shaved in a month!) Given how much I rail against food waste, it was time to find some more delicious, practical ways to enjoy this beauteous vegetable.
Herewith my two favourite ways. Each recipe effectively coaxes the aggressive peppery radish to “calm down”, so you can enjoy without a blitzkrieg on your tastebuds.
Herb-Flecked Radish Yoghurt Sauce
For this even prettier version of tzatziki sauce you’ll need…
- 1 part extra virgin olive oil
- Tiny amount of raw garlic (use the little middle cloves, about 1 per cup of sauce)
- Coarse sea salt to taste
- 3 parts fresh chopped fresh tender leafed herbs (I used dill, basil and mint) – do not try and use dried herbs!
- 3 parts grated radish
- 4-5 parts thick greek yogurt
Bash garlic clove(s) into oblivion via a mortar and pestle. Add salt. Stir everything else in.
Serve with crusty bread or toasted pita, try with grilled red meat, or drizzle over a simple salad of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
Caramelised Onion & Radish Scramble
This sweet/salty umami bomb is simple comfort food at its best. Paired with the Whole Radish Bacony Congee this is an easy mid week meal. Nice.
What you’ll need.
- 4 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 small onion, halved and finely sliced
- 2-3 grated radishes
- 1-3 tbsp ghee or butter or cooking oil
Heat half the ghee in a large frypan on high heat with the radishes, onion and the salt. Brown the undersides and mix, until everything is nice and golden . Pour in eggs and let set a little before twirling and flipping to scramble. As soon as the wet raw parts of the egg disappear, dish it up.
- You can also use Daikon radishes for these recipes although unless they’re homegrown they’ll be much more watery, so you’ll have to squeeze some of the moisture out for the sauce.
- If you have any of the herb-flecked radish yoghurt sauce leftover, you can turn it into a yummy dressing for potato salads: add 1 part mustard and triple the quantity of olive oil, and mix until smooth.
- Bought radishes with the tops on? Don’t throw away: you can eat these! Simply use as you would baby spinach: stir through scrambled eggs, wilt through a pasta dish or serve up in a stirfry. No food waste here!
Image credit: Zo Zhou