Monday, May 21, 2012

Best of Spring: Roasted Radishes with Tarragon Butter

Pin It I'm not sure what your feelings are about radishes. But, I'll share with you that mine are often mixed.

I love the IDEA of radishes -- their petite frames, their crispness and crunch, their deceptively vibrant skin providing coverage to the purest white of flesh.

I like the occasional radish plucked from the relish tray and dipped in salt.  And I enjoy the bite of radish in a hearty chopped salad, especially when it's paired with sweet corn or something that provides a bright foil for its peppery bite.

But sometimes, I must admit, I struggle with what to do with all the bunches of spring radishes that show up in our CSA box.

Yet, radishes are worth eating.  It turns out they're a relatively good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate and Potassium.

So, I've made it my mission to rediscover these pretty little vegetables, and get a little creative about it in the process.  So, I decided to roast the little suckers.

Now -- hopefully you'll agree when I declare that tarragon is one of the brightest and freshest-tasting of all herbs. Bold, but not brash, it exhibits a faint hint of anise that tends to please –yes-- even the most licorice-hating palate.

However, much like a radish, tarragon's flavor is deceptively strong, and too much of it can ruin a dish. But when used judiciously, a little tarragon is like springtime on a plate.  Similarly – and maybe unexpectedly – the roasting process renders radishes particularly sweet, succulent and mellow, very unlike their raw counterparts.  (Grilling works similarly well, so if you're inspired to cook out of doors, this recipe works there too!)

As it turns out, the two, paired together, make a truly unique spring statement.  The subtle flavor of the radishes pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the tarragon. The dish is simple, fresh, and light – a perfect reminder of just how fantastic quality fresh vegetables can be.

In order to mix the tarragon butter successfully, you will have to make more of it than you are likely to use on a batch of roasted radishes. The wonderful thing is that you’ll have plenty of tarragon butter left to add to grilled meats, scrambled eggs, or, for a real treat, to spread it on a piece of toasted crusty, chewy bread.  

3 comments:

  1. Oh, interesting. At first glance I thought those were red potatoes. My sister loves radishes and is always using them in something, but they sort of allude me. I'm intrigued by roasting them, Lori. And I am here to say, as a total licorice hater, I do enjoy tarragon. So, I agree :D

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  2. I like them fried & in a Spanish tortilla so I bet I'd love this too.

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  3. Great post! I feel the same way you do abut radishes, I think. And I just roasted my first radishes ever, the other night. They were delicious! Next time I will do them with tarragon!

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