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Taster’s Cherce

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.

Who knew?

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6 comments

1 rbj   ~  Feb 17, 2010 1:26 pm

I was a very picky eater up through college. Then once I was on my own and had to buy my own food, I suddenly was more interested in the food price than what it was. Still hate brussel sprouts though.

Itchers & scratchers termorrow!

2 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 17, 2010 4:30 pm

Shoot, I'm still a picky eater. I'm probably well known for that among film crews now; at least among my repeat associates. I wouldn't say I'm That Guy in Green Eggs & Ham, but I'm fairly close when it comes to how something is prepared and presented.

Love corn, string beans and romaine lettuce, like tomatoes and carrots, but hardcore greens remind me of tobacco, which is a no-no for me.

3 RIYank   ~  Feb 17, 2010 9:18 pm

Interesting.
I love vegetables. I pretty much learned to cook in a vegetarian environment, and I still regard veggies as the real challenge for a cook; meat is easy.

I really like Brussels sprouts, a lot. (Aren't they the height of haute cuisine fashion in NYC? With figs and bacon?) It doesn't surprise me that you liked them when you roasted them. I absolutely love fennel. It does surprise me that you like it roasted but not otherwise. Can I suggest that you try making white bean & fennel soup?

I'm really surprised that you like radishes roasted and not otherwise! Radishes with coarse salt raw are explosively delicious. I remember growing little icicle radishes when I was a kid, in a window box, the first thing I ever grew. God they were good.

Oh, Lima beans. Yeah, pass. Lima beans, Brussels sprouts. Why do they name vegetables after world capitals???

4 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 17, 2010 10:04 pm

Actually, I really dig raw fennel now but it took a while because I don't care for that heavy anise flavor. But I got over it and now really like fennel, actually prefer it raw to cooked.

I haven't given up on raw radishes yet either.

5 RIYank   ~  Feb 17, 2010 10:48 pm

Yeah, raw fennel I like in small doses -- this slivers in a salad. This soup is amazing, though.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 18, 2010 9:19 am

Dude, GOOD LOOKIN, that looks great.

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