Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Braised Spring Radishes
We've had quite an assortment of radishes in our Chow Boxes lately and I was ready to try something new with them. Prior to this, I didn't even realize that cooking radishes was an option. I've always simply added them to salads and that's about it. I had a small bunch of Easter Egg radishes and another bunch of French Breakfast radishes to use. So, I looked around for different cooking methods.
To braise something is to brown it hot and fast for flavor; then add liquid and simmer to cook until tender. It was the perfect combination for these colorful spring radishes. Cooked radishes have a dramatically different flavor from their raw counterparts. There was just a hint of the typical peppery bite usually associated with radishes. Once cooked, the radishes were incredibly mild and quite unique. With the balsamic vinegar and the slightly salty bits of bacon, this was a great side dish for an easy meal.
Braised Spring Radishes
recipe slightly adapted from TheKitchn
2 bunches of radishes, I used French Breakfast and Easter Egg radishes
2 large shallots, sliced very thinly
2 strips of bacon, slivered into thin pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 cup water, I only needed 1/4 cup
1/2 of a small bunch of Italian parsley, leaves chopped into a small handful
kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Trim the tops and bottoms of the radishes and discard. Wash the radishes and then pat dry. Slice each radish in half lengthwise and then set aside.
Heat the bacon pieces and the butter over medium heat in a very large skillet. When the pork starts to curl at the edges and the butter stops foaming, about 2-3 minutes, add the shallots and toss to coat. Continue stirring for a minute or so, just until they start browning slightly. Add the radishes, placing each one cut side down in the skillet, on top of the bacon and the shallots. Cook them undisturbed for about 2 minutes, just until the bottoms start to turn color.
Add the balsamic vinegar and then add just enough water to come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover with lid, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Uncover the skillet and increase the heat to medium for a few minutes, just until the water has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley and toss to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!