A big part of learning to cook in my twenties came down to radishes. This was largely due to the fact that I could hit up the farmers market and buy a bunch of fresh radishes for a dollar.
I would use up the whole bunch: the radishes themselves would be my go-to veggie for a number of easy meals, while the tops would be added to salad greens, bowls of ramen, or sautéed with garlic.
THE MAGIC OF ROASTING RADISHES
While the pungent, spicy flavor of radishes is always welcome in my salads and salsas, or even simply paired with bread and butter, I’ve found that roasting transformed them into an entirely different vegetable.
Roasted radishes lose much of their peppery bite and toothsome crunch. They become mouthwateringly juicy and surprisingly sweet, while maintaining a slight kick at the end.
Add a pinch of salt and some pepper, and you have a beautiful light lunch right there with a glass of Chardonnay.
TURNING ROASTED RADISHES INTO A SALAD
This roasted radish salad is a dish I trot out all spring. I find that feta is the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the roasted radishes, while chopped parsley and tarragon add a green verve in both flavor and appearance.
Due to its easy preparation and bold flavors, this salad is my workhorse side dish: it’s appealing for potlucks, pairs well with steak for date night, and works on its own as a light lunch.
Plus, the dish opens people’s eyes to the novelty of roasted radishes. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever served this to someone who didn’t eventually make it themselves!
BONUS TIP! Radish Greens
Don’t throw away your radish greens! They have a peppery bite and are fantastic quickly sautéed with olive oil and salt, or turned into pesto. They’re also great in salads when mixed with other greens.
SERVE WITH ANY OF THESE MAIN DISHES
Roasted Radish and Feta Salad Recipe
For the salad:
- 2 pounds radishes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Good pinch of salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
1 Roast the radishes: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim the tops and tails from the radishes (reserve the greens for another use), and cut the the radishes into halves (or quarters if your radishes are exceptionally large).
Toss the radishes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in a large baking dish and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
2 Prepare the vinaigrette: While the radishes are roasting, make the vinaigrette by placing all of the ingredients together in bowl and whisking them together. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Set aside.
Note: This vinaigrette makes more than you’ll need for the salad. It will keep in the fridge for a few days. Just bring it to room temperature and whisk back together before serving.
3 Assemble the salad: Once the radishes are cooked, allow them to cool for a few minutes before assembling the salad. (At this point, the radishes can also be cooled completely and refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
Combine the roasted radishes and crumbled feta in a salad bowl, and toss with a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette. Taste and toss with additional dressing as needed. Scatter the herbs over the salad and toss to combine. If your radishes are still warm, the herbs will wilt; this is fine.
Serve warm or room temperature. Leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge.