It was only recently that I started cooking radishes. I always thought of radishes as something you eat raw atop a buttered slice of white bread with plenty of salt and pepper, or thinly sliced and tucked into a salad if feeling slightly more ambitious. But now, I totally understand the appeal of cooked radishes. With just a short blast in a hot oven or whirl in the pan, they transform from spicy and crunchy to sweet and mellow. Sometimes I like eating them unadorned, roasted simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. But for something more complex and full of flavor, I turn to this preparation where I slather roasted radishes with almond salsa verde. The radishes soak up the bright, pungent salsa verde, and the almonds lend a nice textural contrast to the soft radishes. A simple extra step that makes a big difference is popping the roasted radishes under the broiler for a few minutes until they get charred and caramelized in spots. (Don’t skip this step -- the broiler really works its magic on the radishes.) You’re left with a versatile side to grilled fish or meat -- or for something different, serve them crostini-style so all of the delicious goodness soaks into the bread. —EmilyC
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is both rustic and elegant. The salsa verde provides fresh brightness to the savory roasted radishes and the almonds give it a great crunch. As a side dish, this is complete and satisfying. As a crostini - I wanted something to pull it together as a cohesive topping, like chèvre. I would recommend using a heartier bread than baguette or white flour bread for the crostini, like wheat or rye, to accent the rustic radishes. —meganvt01
1 large bunch radishes
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Make the salsa verde: Pound the herbs to a paste using a mortar and pestle or finely chop and smash with the back of your chef’s knife. Transfer the herbs to a small bowl. Next, crush the capers, garlic, and anchovy (smashing them together until they’re cohesive but not a paste) then add them to the herbs. Stir in the olive oil and chopped almonds and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Prep the radishes: Remove stems and leaves from radishes and scrub well. Cut off the tails, then cut lengthwise into small wedges of roughly equal size.
To roast the radishes, toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until the radishes are soft and cooked through. (Alternatively, you can cook the radishes stovetop with good results if you don't want to turn on the oven. Place a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add radishes in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they’re colored on one side without moving them, about 3 to 5 minutes. Shake the pan and continue cooking until they’re soft and colored on all sides, another 3 minutes or so.)
Preheat your broiler to medium-high. Once you've cooked the radishes (either in the oven or stovetop), place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, until the radishes get slightly charred in spots. Watch them carefully and often so they don’t burn.
To serve as a side, pile the radishes on a serving platter, then generously spoon the almond salsa verde over the top. To serve crostini-style, spread a layer of almond salsa verde over your toasted bread, top with radishes, then spoon more almond salsa verde on top.