Main Ingredient - Radishes
Although you can find radishes in Alaska year-round, local options are at their peak right now (and should be for a couple more weeks). If you’ve been passing by colorful piles of this spicy root vegetable at your local market without feeling inspired, we’re here to help.
Radishes come in many shapes and sizes, with slight differences in flavor. Grabbing multiple bunches to highlight these differences within a single dish adds variety, so don’t be shy. We’re going to leave you with plenty of recipes so that you’ll have no problem using up every radish that you buy.
As soon as you get home from the market, open your CSA box, or pull them from your own garden, give your radishes a good rinse in cold water. Then, cut off the tops. If you’re doing a simple plate of radishes with salt and butter, leave a half-inch or so of top on there. The green looks great and gives you something to hold while you dip and eat.
If you can cook the greens right away, do it. A silky cream of radish greens soup is a good way to go. It’s easy -- pull out a pot big enough to hold all the greens you have on hand and start heating it up. Add some butter, oil, bacon or whatever fat you have on hand, and a bit of chopped garlic and/or onion. Sweat the veggies in the fat for a minute, then pile in your greens. Since you’re going to puree them, you don’t need to chop them. They’ll cook up quick, about 3 to 4 minutes, on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper (or get more creative) and let cool for a moment.
Next you’re going to puree the cooked and seasoned greens with whatever milk-type product you happen to have on hand - I used a can of coconut milk, which balanced out the mild bite of the greens. You can use heavy cream or milk (from a cow, a nut, or whatever else they are making milk out of these days), adding as much or as little as you feel like. It depends, in part, on the flavor of the greens. Get everything pureed in your blender, taste it, and adjust for consistency and flavor. You could also use stock, though in this case I prefer the richness of (real or fake) dairy.
If you need more of a recipe than a guide, check out this approach from Mark Bittman (just substitute the spinach with your radish greens).
Radish greens can also easily add a fresh bite to a salad, cooked with other greens, or as part of your favorite pesto recipe.
Now that you’ve finished the soup, you can attend to the radishes themselves. You can pickle them quickly. Just quarter or slice, put in a jar, add your pickling liquid, and let them do their thing. Tucked in the refrigerator next to a jar of creamy radish top soup they will wait for days until you pair them to start an elegant summer meal. Get the Recipe: Radish Pickles
Once the greens are cut off, the radishes can also just wait a few days. Take a deep breath! Later in the week you can try this easy and delicious recipe for Roasted Radishes with Butter and Thyme from our friends over at Edible Capital District.
Share your favorite radish recipe over on our Facebook page!
Have ingredients lying around that you're not sure how to use? Maybe you're stuck in a weeknight dinner rut. Send your questions, ideas, and kitchen conundrums to info@edibleAK.com.