If you want to experience a truly fabulous radish, then take the time to browse your local farmers’ market or farm stand. There are many varieties available these days – radishes come in all sizes, shapes and colors, with flavors ranging from crisp and sweet to a little hot and tangy.
A few years ago, one gorgeous bulb really caught my eye. Its name – the watermelon radish – is as colorful as its bright pink flesh. The watermelon radish has since become a favorite in my kitchen, and it’s absolutely delicious in this recipe.
But you should seek out other radishes, too – like the cherriette (a larger and sweeter version of the common radish), the luobo (crisp with a plate green flesh and a little heat). Or the China rose (vibrant pink skin and crisp white flesh). These gorgeous bulbs will open up a whole new world of flavors to your palate – and all will work marvelously here.
Slow-roasted radish roots with fennel
serves 4 to 6
active time: 20 min
- 12 oz (340 g) watermelon radish roots (4 large) – peeled and cut in 1/4″ slices
- 12 oz (340 g) regular radish roots (14 large) – unpeeled and quartered
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds – crushed in a mortar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
- Step 1: Place the radishes in the roasting pan. Sprinkle with the fennel, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the maple syrup and olive oil. Toss well, spread in a single layer, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes until very tender, tossing once halfway through the cooking.
- Step 2: Remove foil and toss vegetables again (carefully, so as not to break them). Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for 12 to 15 additional minutes until golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The roasted radish roots make a wonderful side dish, especially when paired with this radish-top soup.
Give your roots a pretty tip
- The radish roots look very elegant with a bit of the tail showing. Here’s how to do it:
- Peel the radish along its bulb and its tail, being careful not to sever the tail.
- Cut the tail on the diagonal, about 1/2″ from the base of the bulb.
- Cut the radish in half, right through its tail, and then in quarters through its tail again.
- For larger radishes, cut each quarter in half, right through the tail, into 1/4″ slices.