I spear one with a fork, place it in my mouth and bite down. I notice first its juiciness, like biting into a warm grape. I try to place the flavor – childhood memories of freshly-dug turnips, quickly washed with the garden hose and sprinkled with salt. Yes, a bit like turnips, but not as strong. I spear another and it pops between my teeth. The bitterness of turnips, the sweetness of carrots – as well as the flint you sometimes find in white wine.
These are my first bites of roasted radishes.
Radishes are nothing new to me. When I was a child, my mother would serve them on her “chomping platter”; her middle-class name for crudités, served raw with salt or dipped in ranch dressing. As an adult, I’ve had radishes sliced and dotting lowbrow street tacos as well as French-style: whole, slathered with butter and salt.
Today, I’m trying them roasted. I stole the idea from an article I read a few months ago. Today, I picked a fresh bunch from the shelf at Whole Foods, a tight little bundle of green and red. Once in my kitchen, I cut their tops and trimmed the hair-like roots, gave them a good rinse and sprinkled them with virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. I popped the roasting pan into a 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes, turning them often so they browned and softened evenly.
This is my simple lunch of roasted radishes.
Hmm…roasted. Who would have thought? Ideas for next time? Thyme, definitely thyme – and time (I’d like them a little browner) and perhaps mixed with roasted carrots.