A fresh radish at the farmers market signals the beginning of spring and the wealth of bounty that it offers. Radishes seem to be the vegetable that we all want to love for its vibrant color and availability yet no one quite knows what to do with it. Traditionally eaten raw, they add a crunchy accent to fresh salads, and they are simply lovely with a splash of apple cider vinegar. However, the peppery bite of raw radishes does not always appeal to everyone so try roasting them slowly to allow a slight sweetness to come out. Once roasted, you can serve them as a side dish; or add them to a quinoa salad, puree for a soup or toss into a stir-fry.
The common radish we are all familiar with can be found in abundance at your local farmers market but heirloom varieties are becoming a familiar sight. Heirloom radishes come in a range of colors and sizes but my personal favorites are the French breakfast and the black Spanish round varieties. Select firm radishes with the greens still attached as they are the most nutrient dense and most likely the freshest. They store well in the refrigerator for about a week. As with most vegetables, the skin is nutrient dense, but if you are worried about the pungent flavor, just peel the skin off. Soaking the radishes in lemon juice and water is supposed to enhance the colors.
I purchased the radishes and parsley for this recipe at the Atherton Mills farmers market. If you have not checked out this Charlotte landmark, it is a necessity for all local cooks. The market, which is always packed with local farmers, is located in the Atherton Mills where the old trolley barn used to be off of South Boulevard.
Roasted Radishes & New Potatoes with Parsley Butter
- 1 1/2 pounds of radishes, cleaned and chopped
- 1 pound of new potatoes, chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3-4 tablespoons of fresh butter
- juice of lemon
- lemon zest (about a teaspoon)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- sea salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare ingredients; add radishes and potatoes to large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic. Heat for 2-3 minutes until flavors meld. Add parsley mixture to potatoes. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add olive oil and stir. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Drizzle with maple syrup for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
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