I never would have thought to cook fresh radishes until Mark Bittman told me it was okay.
He suggests you braise them with butter and you should definitely listen to him. I gave it a good thorough test last week, just for your benefit, and I’ve since become entirely smitten with the subtle and peppery sweet flavor of the warmed radishes.
To be honest, at first bite, I wasn’t completely in love. Actually, I think the first word that came to mind was meh. But then I took a second bite, and a third, and after a few mouthfuls the delicate flavor began to build, slowly rolling across my tongue, shimmering with earthy sweetness. The heat of the skillet turns the volume down on the radishes inherently strong bite, allowing them to hang out in the background, keeping it real, while the butter, salt, and parsley steal the show.
Painted with a thin, shiny glaze, they share the plate beautifully with a piece of fresh fish or served as a pre-dinner nibble with slices of bread and butter. There’s also plenty of wiggle room in this recipe, so feel free to tweak it to your liking.
Butter Braised Radishes
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon canola oil or other neutral oil
2 small bunches of radishes- cleaned and trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup chicken/vegetable stock or white wine (I used chicken stock)
1 Teaspoon sugar
Minced flat-leaf parsley for serving
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a large frying pan that can be covered. Add radishes, stir to coat with butter/oil, and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the white wine or chicken/vegetable stock and the sugar. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until the radishes are barely fork-tender.
Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the radishes are glazed and the liquid is syrupy (another few minutes). Garnish with the parsley and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.