I was a picky eater as a kid. As an adult, I’m far more curious and willing to try new things. I’m no food adventurer but I’m not so ascared either. I like most vegetables. I give myself little missions–learn to like brussels sprouts, learn to like fennel. I haven’t gotten to lima beans yet.
I’ve been trying to like radishes for a minute now and I’m just not there. I don’t hate them but I can’t get into them either. I’ve sliced them paper thin, salted them and made quick pickles. I’ve tried them plain, tossed into salads, and…nothing. A bitter garnish. Not terrible but not inviting. The taste is too strong, too peppery for me. Still, I like the idea of radishes. The crispness, the snap. The color. They look great. So I keep an eye out for something that’ll turn me around.
I found it in the latest issue of Saveur magazine.
When in doubt, Roast ’em.
Works for those brussels sprouts and fennel, string beans and just about anything else.
The recipe called for three bunches of radishes but since I wasn’t sure that I’d like it at all, I started with one bunch of plain red radishes from the market. I cut off all the green stems, scrubbed and cleaned the radishes and then patted them dry with a paper towel. I placed them in a roasting dish, added a tablespoon of olive oil and six or seven sprigs of fresh thyme. Salt and pepper.
They cooked through in 35 minutes. I let them cool and before I swallowed the first bite I knew that I’d finally found a way that I like radishes. Not tolerate them. But actively enjoy them. They kept that fresh snap and weren’t mushy like parsnips can get once they are roasted or bitter like turnips. They still had the slight peppery taste but were sweet too. I could even see adding some vinegar at the end to balance the sweetness.