Three Ways Chefs Are Cooking Radishes, from Simple Buttered Breakfast Radishes to Sauteed Watermelon Radishes
Three ways in which chefs are cooking (or not cooking) this little red root
Consider the radish. We relegated the root to garnish status for years, learning nothing from the French, who had been marrying its subtle heat and satisfying crunch to butter and salt.
Thankfully, America has finally caught on to its charms. We're not only shaving radishes raw to headline salads with bite, but also pickling, grilling, and--our favorite--roasting them to a mellow sweetness. And the spicy green tops, usually mere fodder for the compost pile, are a revelation in salads or soups.
Chefs today can't use enough of them. "The textures you can get out of radishes are so cool," says chef Ari Taymor of Alma in Los Angeles, who taps a handful of varieties to make a silky radish "tofu" dish. And did we mention there are literally dozens of varieties? At last, the little red root is getting its day in the sun.
Three Radishes, Three Ways
Empire State South, Atlanta
Watermelon radishes look good shaved, but they rock when cooked," says chef Hugh Acheson. He sautes cubes of the colorful radish in brown butter and tops with benne (sesame) seeds.
Nomad, New York
Chef Daniel Humm dips svelte,
spicy breakfast radishes in fleur de sel-spiked tempered butter and chills them until the butter sets. "It's the ultimate simple-as-can-be bite," he says.
Alma, Los Angeles
The giant, full-flavored white
daikon radish is a favorite of chef Ari Taymor, who steeps it in soy milk to make a silky radish "tofu." Says Taymor, "It's all about drawing out that flavor."
Bring It Home: How to Roast the Root
Toss halved trimmed radishes on a baking sheet with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 425° until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Toss with fresh lemon juice, room-temperature butter, and chopped fresh herbs; season with flaky sea salt (such as Maldon).