Braised Radish with Radish Green Salsa Verde
I have this weird memory from being a kid. We did a little bit of gardening, which I would occasionally help with, and one time we grew radishes that I felt a particular ownership for. When they were ready, I remember eating them raw, hating it, but continuing to chew and swallow, because they were mine, and I was responsible for their existence.
I didn’t eat radishes for a long time after that.
These days, with the right pairings, I like the spicy crunch of raw radish, but I’ve been playing around with other preparations. Braising is my favorite. They’ll soak up whatever flavor you give them while they simmer, so while this recipe is basic, you could add anything you want to the liquid portion to change the flavor to better pair for the rest of the meal.
I’ve also been trying to discard less when I cook, and while that’s not always possible (I’m looking at you, artichokes) sometimes it’s easy. Turns out, radish stems and leafs are great. They’re mild with a hint of spice and work great in a salsa verde. They contribute just the right amount of flavor while letting the other ingredients shine through as well.
This combo goes great as a side, swap it in anywhere you might have served a potato dish, but is also great as a small stand alone meal. The sauce portion might end up making more than you’ll need for the radishes, but don’t throw it out! It goes great on steak, fish, eggs, or roasted vegetables as well. Store it in the fridge for later.
- Radish bunch with greens
- Cilantro (equal amount to the reddish greens)
- Almonds (5-10)
- Clarified butter
- Red wine vinegar
- Chicken broth
- Olive oil
- Salt + pepper
- Toss the radish bunch into a strainer and give them a good rinse. As you’re washing pop the radishes off of the greens and toss any greens that are yellow or wilted. Set greens on a towel to dry, and slice the radishes in half lengthwise.
- Bring a pan to medium-high and melt in enough clarified butter to coat the bottom. Toss in the radish and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook and sear until the radish has a nice dark color and is starting to soften slightly.
- Add in a tablespoon or so of vinegar and keep everything moving to coat the radish and let some of the liquid steam off.
- When there’s just a bit of liquid left in the pan, pour in enough chicken broth to get about halfway up the radishes. Bring to a boil, then drop down to a simmer. Make sure all the radishes are cut side down while they simmers to they soak up as much liquid as possible. Let the cook until all the liquid has either been absorbed or simmered off.
- While the radishes simmer, rough chop the greens and cilantro, and add to a blender or food processor with the almonds, salt, pepper, a splash of red wine vinegar, the juice of a lemon, and a glug of olive oil. Pulse, adding more oil as needed, until it’s mixed, but still chunky.
- Serve the radishes hot. Add the sauce however you’d like, you can toss it all together, spoon a heap over the top, dip, whatever works best for the rest of the meal.