A beautiful, springtime side dish, fresh from the garden. Mellowed and naturally sweetened, butter braised is the BEST way to eat radishes.
I’ll admit, I have a bit of a tough time with radishes. There are NOT a whole lot of foods out there that I don’t enjoy – but raw radishes are one of them.
A few years ago, though, I discovered that cooked radishes are a different thing entirely! They are, in a word, amazing. Over a little bit of heat, radishes’ otherwise spicy bite is tamed, and their texture slightly softened.
Come spring, I seek out fresh farmer’s market vegetables such as peas, new potatoes, early lettuces, and especially radishes. Even if I can only source them from the local grocery store, they fit the bill for seasonal cooking this time of year.
Butter is a natural pairing with spring radishes, its creaminess mellows any sharpness in the root veggie. I like to cook the butter so it just begins to brown slightly, then toss in the radishes and braise them until they just start to soften. A splash of cider vinegar cuts through the richness, and a squeeze of honey at the end rounds everything out and brings out their underlying natural sweetness. Make sure to crack LOTS of fresh black pepper over top at the end!
An effortless dish that tastes so incredibly complex, serve as an accompaniment to simply grilled meat or seafood, or alongside a fresh, spring pasta dish.
Are there any substitutions?
- Not with this one. It’s so simple, what you see is what you get.
How can I zest it up?
- The vinegar and honey add plenty of zestiness, however, a garnish of fresh herbs will be nice. Try dill, basil, or tarragon.
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Butter Braised Radishes
- 1 ¼ pounds red radishes trimmed and halved or quartered if large
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons cider or sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- smoked sea salt for finishing optional
- Melt the butter over medium high heat. When it just begins to turn brown, add the radishes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring a few times, for 5 or so minutes. They will begin to soften and become more translucent as they are close to done.
- Raise the heat again to high, and add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, then remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed, or sprinkle with the smoked salt if using. Add some more cracked black pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.