To most, radishes are a salad vegetable, and a good one at that. I really enjoy a raw radish — particularly dipped in butter with a pinch of salt — but a cooked radish is surprisingly delightful.
Life has taught me to expect very little from February, the worst month, but this one has been especially bad. It's important to savour the bright spots as they crop up, even the tiny ones. Although this month has been riddled with crises on the micro and macro scales, I finally got to eat kohlrabi pizza after weeks and weeks of plotting. It was the highlight of my February.
They’re like tiny little potatoes, albeit less starchy. You can roast ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew. The heat softens the radishes’ spicier qualities and amplifies their sweetness.
If you’re avoiding carbs for whatever reason (or even if you’re not), they’re a great way to scratch that potato itch and they, much like myself, take extremely well to a buttering.
To make a nice little puree, perfect for serving alongside roasted or grilled meats, just quarter and boil two small bunches (about 20 radishes) in salted water for 12-15 minutes, until they can be easily mashed with a fork.
Add a quarter cup of butter (or any other of your favourite mashed potato fixin’s) and puree with an immersion blender. Season with salt, and top with bacon, chives, or crispy onions.
To roast, toss halved or quartered radishes with your favourite cooking fat—maybe bacon grease?—and spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan or in a roasting dish. Season them however you like, but I find they rarely need more than salt and pepper.
Roast them in a 200C oven, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until they are tender on the inside and crispy on the edges (20-30 minutes, depending on the size). Serve the sweet little morsels as a side, or simply eat them straight from the pan, because honestly who has time to plate these days?