I love radishes and am always drawn to the pretty color of a pile of radishes. Most of us just slice them into a green salad and the left-over radishes die a fateful death in the fridge. Here are some non-salad ideas that will expand your radish repertoire.
Radish Sauté – It doesn’t really occur to many people that you can cook radishes (as with cucumbers). It’s so simple to sauté radishes in olive oil or butter. They are delicious and make you appreciate radishes in a while new way.
Kimchi – Sprinkle the radishes with a bit of kosher salt and a little chili paste. Toss together and then pack them into a glass jar. Place in the back of the fridge for two weeks. Excellent on top of a burger.
Butter & Sea Salt – A fine butter and a pinch of sea salt on top of a radish slice make the perfect summer bite.
Radish “Sauerkraut” – Slice 1 pound of radishes and toss with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Pack tightly into a glass jar. Weigh down with a wrapped can and place on a shelf for two weeks. Makes a great addition to a sandwich.
Shaved & Lightly Poached In A Tasty Liquid – Slivers of radish dropped in a simmering stock and/or wine for 10 seconds are a great compliment to fresh fish. They let go of their bite, but retain some of their unique crunch we all know and love.
Braised – Sauté a little onion and garlic. Add in some radish quarters and a healthy splash of red wine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar. Excellent draped over a grilled steak or pork chop.
Pickled – Slice some 1/4 inch coins and throw them into a jar. Pour brine over them (1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar). You may want to throw in a few dried chilis if you want a bit of spice. Let sit in your fridge for a week.
Soup – Simmered for 30 minutes in a soup. The radishes will take on a sweet and velvety character.
Grated – Grate the radishes along with some freshly grated ginger and use as a condiment with any oily fish such as trout or mackerel.
Roasted – Quarter and toss with a little olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in an oven at 425º F for 20 minutes. They should be a little brown and will become sweet. Toss them with some toasted nuts. They are a great side dish at any potluck picnic.
Freezing is an easy way to enjoy fruits and vegetables from gardens or farmers’ markets well into the winter. There are a variety of freezer bags to use for storing and freezing. I think that using a vacuum sealer is the best freezer method out there. Vacuum sealers protect foods by removing the extra air and creating a tight teal. If you want to preserve your fruits, vegetables, and meats through long-term freezing, a vacuum sealer is an investment to consider. Conventional storage bags and containers trap air in the container with the food, which can cause damage from frost and freezer burn. Because the sealer sucks all the air out of the bag before creating a tight seal, the food in the bags is better protected against the elements. A vacuum sealer costs between $75 and $200 and requires the purchase of special bags designed for this use. Besides preserving garden produce, this is a great tool to help you maximize the shelf life of other food items you buy in bulk at club stores or on sale.
I hate to throw food away. I really do. Here are some ideas that will transform one night’s extras into a fresh meal.
Toss up a salad. Add leftover roasted meat or fish to fresh lettuces and vegetables. Sprinkle an assortment of cheeses and add your favorite dressing.
Stir up a soup. Cook leftover meats and vegetables in a chicken or vegetable broth. Add fresh or frozen vegetables and cook through. Season as you like. If you have leftover cooked pasta you may want to add as well. Let's not forget tofu.
If you cooked too much pasta don’t worry about it. You can add sausage and spinach to the next night’s leftover pasta. Add a little olive oil and grated cheese and you’re set.
Make some French bread sandwiches. Slice the French bread lengthwise. The long loaves are great for piling with leftover meat and topped with cheeses. Place under the broiler for tasty open-faced sandwiches.
Be creative. I have come up with some good recipes out of a fridge full of leftovers.
I love going to farmers' markets, especially good ones. It's the closest to "farm to table" that I can get without growing my own fruits and vegetables. Yesterday was my first visit to the New Canaan farmer’s market. It’s a good one! I picked up beets, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peaches and plums. Everything looked great and even though the vendors were busy they were very friendly and seemed happy to be there.
New Canaan Farmers’ Market
Saturday 10am to 2pm
May 12th Through October
Old Center School Parking Lot
South Avenue & Maple Street
I happened to be in the Lower East Side today and had to go through China Town. I always find it interesting to see the fruit & vegetable stands, the fish stands and the chickens hanging in the storefront windows. Those are live crabs that the fishmonger kept picking up with giant tongs and throwing them in the baskets.