Radishes are sautéed with fresh fava beans and finished with chopped parsley and chives.
Isn’t it peculiar how there are some vegetables we never think to eat raw and others we never think to eat cooked?
Asparagus and eggplant, for example, I always think to cook while lettuce and radishes I generally serve up raw. But it doesn’t have to be so; these vegetables have more to offer. Following on the heels of last week’s raw asparagus salad, I decided I should cook my radishes.
I never think to eat them that way because most of the time fresh spring radishes end up slathered with the best butter I can find and finished off with a flurry of fleur de sel. I love the assertive spiciness of raw radishes, the way the butter tempers and mellows them just a bit, and the salt ties everything so beautifully together. Other than that my radishes only make appearances on crudités platters or in salads, so it was high time I cooked them.
Cooking radishes softens their pungent bite and gives them a buttery texture with a delicate flavor. Sautéing transforms them into juicy, tender morsels with a mild, almost sweet taste.
Butter continues to be their perfect foil, this time helping to caramelize the edges of the cut radishes in the pan. A swirl of Pernod around the pan fuses with the butter to create a rich glaze that coats every last bite and adds a hint of anise flavor.
And since spring is in full swing I added the quintessential spring vegetable to the mix: fava beans. Along with sweet peas, artichokes and asparagus, fava beans are one of the reasons springtime is such a treat and one of my favorite seasons. Also known as broad beans, these rich buttery beans can be a bit of work since they need to be shelled and skinned, but their nutty creamy flavor is worth the effort.
The still warm sautéed radishes with fava beans are finished with a flourish of chopped parsley and chives for freshness and pop of green. It’s a nice change of pace and thoroughly seasonal variation on preparing radishes.
How do you like to eat radishes?