3 unexpectedly delicious ways to use grated radishes
Confession: I used to buy radishes because they’re beautiful, not because I particularly liked to eat them. You see, every week I have to get something that gets me excited for the dinners ahead, something vibrant (like radishes) or quietly beautiful (like beetroots). Mostly this works out fine, but radishes – well, they’re just a little loud to for using in large quantities. I prefer to use them almost like a garnish to avoid complete eradishification of flavour. This used to mean radishes slowly growing hairy in my fridge (seriously…they grow little white roots like an old man who hasn’t shaved in a month). Given how much I rail against food waste, it was time to find some more delicious, practical ways to enjoy this beauteous vegetable. Here are my 3 favourite ways to use radishes so far. Each recipe effectively forces the aggressive peppery radish into Calming Down, so you can enjoy a respectable quantity without blitzkrieging your tastebuds. You can also use daikon radish although unless they’re homegrown they’ll be much more watery, so you’ll have to squeeze some of the moisture out for the sauce.
Herb-flecked radish yogurt sauce
This is like an even prettier version of a tzatziki. If you have any leftovers, turn into a yummy dressing for potato salads: add 1 part mustard and triple the quantity of olive oil, and mix until smooth.
- 1 part extra virgin olive oil
- tiny amount of raw garlic (use the little middle cloves, about 1 per cup of sauce)
- coarse sea salt to taste
- 3 parts fresh chopped fresh tender leafed herbs (I used dill, basil and mint) – do not try and use dried herbs!
- 3 parts grated radish
- 4-5 parts thick greek yogurt
Bash garlic clove(s) into oblivion in a mortar and pestle with salt. Stir everything else in. Serve with crusty breads or pita toasted till it’s crunchy, or grilled red meat, or drizzle over a simple salad of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
Caramelised onion & radish scramble
This sweet/salty umami bomb is simple comfort food at its best, inspired by the turnip version at The Amateur Gourmet. Paired with the Whole Radish Bacony Congee (pictured underneath, recipe below), this is an easy mid week meal (recipes serve 2).
- 4 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 small onion, halved and finely sliced
- 2-3 grated radishes
- 1-3 Tbs ghee or butter & cooking oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
Heat half the ghee in a large frypan on high heat with the radishes, onion and the salt. Brown the undersides and mix, until everything is nice and golden (see pics from Amateur Gourmet). Pour in eggs and let set a little before twirling and flipping to scramble. As soon as the wet raw parts of the egg disappear, dish it up.
Whole Radish Bacon-y “Congee”
Congee is a porridge made with plain rice and water, but here bacon fat & juice leftover from cooking bacon the amazing way is used to flavour the congee and make it utterly irresistible (note: if you are cooking the bacon the way specified in the video, I poured off the last tiny bit of water and the fat before all the water evaporated, and put it in the freezer for opportunities like this congee, or soup, or whatever you want to add bacony flavour to). You can substitute miso paste & smoked paprika if you’re strictly vegetarian. While we’re totally bastardising congee, use radish greens to offset the richness of the bacon nicely, with the stalks provide a crispy texture to contrast with the soft eggs and rice.
- 3/4 c rice (I used arborio but you can use short or long grain)
- 3 cups water
- around 1 Tbs each bacon fat and juice (see para above)
- the greens from 1 bunch radishes, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 packed cups)
- 2-3 radishes, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
Bring rice and water to the boil in covered saucepan on high heat, then reduce heat to low once boiling. Stir through radishes, bacon fat and juice, re-cover pan and set timer for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, then re-cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes until rice is totally cooked and soft. If it’s too soupy, blitz a bit with a stick blender (be careful to fully immerse the blender in the congee unless you like burning hot pain). Add salt and radish greens and stir through, scraping the bottom again. Cover (unless too soupy) and let simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes to help any stuck bits in the pan come unstuck before serving.
If you can’t be bothered making the scramble to serve with this, you can also cook some whole eggs in – add about 5 mins before adding the radish greens and just be careful when stirring not to break the yolk.