Brightly colored summer radishes are at their juicy best right now, bunched and piled high on farmers market tables. Radishes aren't just round and red anymore. These days they can come in pink, purple, or white jackets, or be long, svelte, and multicolored, like French breakfast radishes, which are mostly red with white tips.
Whichever ones you buy or dig up from your garden, don't chuck the tops in the garbage can! The leaves are not only edible, they're also downright delicious! Add the youngest, most tender ones to a salad, and sauté the rest -they cook quickly-with olive oil into vitamin-packed greens.
Raw With Butter and Sea Salt: This is the French way, and it makes the easiest hors d'oeuvre. Splurge on the best sweet-not salted-butter you can find and let it come to room temperature. Pack it in a ramekin alongside another one with sea salt, preferably the French sel gris (gray sea salt). Spread some butter on a radish, dip it ever so lightly in sea salt, and you will be in for a treat.
Radish Salad: Radishes don't have to play second or third fiddle in a salad. Make them the star! Thinly slice or julienne the radishes, preferably with a mandoline, then toss them with a vinaigrette. The dressing will temper their heat.
Pickled Radishes: If cucumbers can do it, radishes can, too. For 1 cup thinly sliced radishes, bring ¼ cup each of seasoned rice vinegar and water to a boil with 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Let the brine cool, then pour over the radishes and chill them for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Drain well.
Braised: A little external heat turns spicy radishes mellow and sweet. Trim 2 bunches of radishes. Cook 1 shallot, finely chopped, in 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet until softened, then add radishes with 1 ½ cups water and a generous pinch of sugar and salt and simmer, covered until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and boil, swirling pan, until liquid is reduced to a glaze.
See more: Inside the Playboy Mansion's Kitchen
Roasted: If you can roast asparagus and cauliflower, why not radishes? Preheat oven to 450°F. Trim 2 bunches of radishes and halve lengthwise. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt, then spread out in a rimmed sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.
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