Don't underestimate the radish

Dear Lynne,

Every week I buy those great-looking multicolored radishes. I slice some in salads and end up throwing the rest out. What else can I do with them? 

–Patty in New York City

Dear Patty,

I love radishes and think we underestimate them here in the states. Here are some ideas.

Try a salad made of equal amounts of thinly-sliced radishes and carrots with fresh coriander tossed in an Asian sweet-sour sauce. It would be delicious on its own alongside something grilled, but also imagine it on a bed of rice noodles with crushed salted peanuts.

The French really understand the radish. One classic is radishes with drinks. The radishes are halved on a slant, and set out with a pot of soft butter and another one of coarse salt. You run your radish through a little butter, then dip it in the salt. Try it; it is dynamite. 

A garden tip: Plant radish and carrot seeds together. As you pull faster-growing radishes, you automatically space the carrots.

Finally, the French radish sauté -- this works with anything, but with salmon, lamb or roast chicken it is especially good.

-Lynne

Sweet Herb Radish Sauté

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • About 24 small multicolored radishes, trimmed, washed and dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives or thin-sliced scallion tops
  • 3 basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

 Instructions

1. Heat butter in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium high. Add radishes and sugar, sautéing about 2 minutes. 

2. Lower heat to medium. Sprinkle radishes with salt, pepper and water.

3. Cover and cook 1 minute. Uncover, boil off liquid, stirring all the time. Taste radishes for seasoning and fold in the herbs. Serve warm with dollops of sour cream.

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