During the Great Depression, my grandfather fed his family with his gun and his garden. From that magic plot in upstate New York, he grew more vegetables than any home gardener has a right to grow in a measly 250 square feet.
When we visited in the summer, all kinds of good things at dinner had come out of the garden. But the one vegetable that I couldn’t get into was the humble radish. Magenta and the size of a large marble, I just didn’t care for their spicy bite. My grandfather would dip radishes fresh out of the garden into a saucer with salt and eat them, one after the other.
Well it’s fall, and what do you think we got with last week’s share from our CSA? Two hefty bunches of radishes. Casting about, I found a recipe for braised radishes.
2 bunches radishes
1 tb butter 1 tb extra virgin olive oil
1 tb extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt 1/2 tsp sugar
1 small onion – or substitute 2 shallots
1 clove garlic – optional.
Water approx. 1 cup
Sauté onions until soft, perhaps 6 minutes, in olive oil and butter.
Clean radishes, removing the tops and the ends. Halve or quarter them if they’re large. Add them to the pan and sauté for a few minutes, covering them in fat.
Add salt and sugar, stirring. Add water. There should be a decent amount of water in the pan, but the radishes shouldn’t be covered. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and turn down the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until water is reduced to a glaze.
They’ll be tender and piquant and will make a nice side dish for a fall meal.