Monday, June 24, 2013

Plant a radish...

Plant a radish.
Get a radish.
Never any doubt.
That's why I love vegetables;
You know what you're about!  
The Fantastiks

I think that is one of the reasons I love vegetable gardens, especially when the harvesting begins.  You just know what you're about!
Starting with radishes...they're kind of harbingers of things to come.  These little beauties came out today and there are still lots more in the ground (makes me happy!).  But the importance of today's post is to, implore you to hold onto the greens after you have plucked off the radishes.  I know, I know, when you buy them at the grocery, who knows how long they've been sitting there so I'll give you a pass on those BUT if they come out of your garden and they are fresh and beautiful like these....
Yes...those are radish greens, believe it or not.  That is what they are supposed to look like.  So swish them in a cold water bath, dry and wrap them in paper towels.  Then put them in the hydrator and use them for salads or as a sauteed side...very similar in use to beet greens.  Radish greens are quite tender and not at all bitter.  I think they have more of a grassy taste when they're raw so they do make a nice salad.  I would combine them some other baby greens, fresh strawberries and an Asian vinaigrette, maybe with sesame oil then you could also add in some sesame seeds.  Now, I know you're dying for a recipe...right? This is so simple, it'll make you cry. And, so delicious, it'll make you cry for more.   I also have been known to make this recipe with baby beets and beet greens so feel free to improvise.  If you're feeling adventurous slice some radishes and toss them in too!
Sauteed Radish Greens with Pasta
Serves 4

One large bunch of radish greens
Extra virgin olive oil

1 -2  slices applewood smoked bacon

½ medium onion, sliced
1 lb penne or other short pasta
4 oz. goat cheese
Kosher salt and black pepper

Wash radish greens well and shake to dry.  Remove any tough ribs and cut crosswise across large leaves but leave small leaves intact.  Cut bacon into lardons and fry in a large sauté pan until fat is rendered then add sliced onion and sweat onions until tender and translucent.  Add radish greens and sauté until tender.
Boil a large pot of water with salt and cook penne until al dente.  Drain but reserve pasta water.
Add penne to the sauté pan with the radish greens and toss to combine. Crumble goat cheese over the top and combine until cheese is melted.  If needed, add a ladle of pasta water to bring the ingredients together and thicken the sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.

* This was one of my favorite posts from last year and I thought since my radish crop was so sad this year that I would reminisce.  Plus, I had to add a picture of the finished dish.  I do saute some sliced radishes and add them before serving.  The recipe appears in my cookbook.*

As always...

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