I avoid radishes like the plague. If they were in salads I would either pick them out or bypass the salad all together. I tried one years ago and found it quite bitter! Some may describe the flavor as a pungent, peppery flavor but I’ve never found this to be the case. That said, I felt it high time to reach out and challenge my taste buds once more with hopes of possibly changing my view on this root vegetable. Believed to have originated in southern Asia and cultivated in Egypt in 2780 BCE, the first cultivated radishes were black and later on there were white varieties. Red radishes were developed in the 1700s. Radishes have been effective when used as a medicinal food for liver disorders. They contain a variety of sulfur-based chemicals that increase the flow of bile and therefore help to maintain a healthy gallbladder and liver, and improve digestion.
As I removed the little pink gems out of the oven their aroma reminded me of baked beetroot so that was a good sign as I love beetroot! I tossed the hot radishes into a bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper. Once cool enough to eat, I popped one into my mouth and to my surprise, I liked it! I called my husband over for him to sample and he liked it as well…to the point where I had to tell him to stop eating them or there wouldn’t be any for dinner! Another veggie to add to the list of repeats.
Serves 4 (as a side)
adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
1 pound radishes (about 2 bunches)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
leaves from 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°c (400f). Chop the tops off the radishes, leaving about 1/2 inch of the green stem attached, if desired. Rinse the radishes well. Place radishes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the melted butter and olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme, if desired, and toss to coat.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the radishes are tender but still slightly crunchy (red radishes will turn pale pink in color, lighter radishes may turn a pale gold). Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with fresh thyme, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: These were delicious! I’ll make these again but next time I will add a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar. I tried one raw, sliced thinly, and liked it but having it roasted is more to my liking.