Tuesday, 27 June 2017

With regards to and reverence of the radish-Sorry mum!!!

When I was a small boy my mother used to read "A Tale of Peter Rabbit to me.I sat up in bed enthralled by Peter and Benjamin escaping from the vegetable garden hotly pursued by Mr McGregor,then falling asleep and dreaming that it was actually me in that vegetable garden,Peter Rabbit,the robber.This is how I came to love radishes, but it was not until very recently that I discovered there were many more ways to eat radishes than just with salt and butter.First of all,I always dunk them in iced water to crisp them up.They become so crisp that the sensation is almost like crunching on ice cubes and the soft green leaves, having been refreshed, regain their peppery bite, akin to watercress and rocket.There has always been room for a ruby red radish in my diet.

"First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes.".

But now I have discovered some ravishing radish recipes that cook the little rubies in many ways. Roasted, sautéed, glazed,who would have thought it eh? In the realm of radishes they are all about the pared back style of cooking that lets ingredients shine,radishes reign and should be treated like heroes being allowed to win supremacy in whatever way they are being prepared-here are a few of the radish recipes that have won me over.
Serve radishes with olive oil and dukkah for dipping.Duqqa, du'ah, do'a, or dukkah is to die for. Its an Egyptian condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices. It is typically used as a dip with bread or fresh vegetables for an hors d'œuvre.Radishes and anchovies were born to be childhood sweethearts and what can be more delicious at this time of year than a radish confetti with that classic Italian green sauce of herbs, capers and anchovies, salsa verde.
 Try a "Real Simple" idea of a pesto, radish and sea salt crostini.And if you are still attracted by the idea of anchovies, a real simple variation of the crostini idea but use a traditional tapenade in place of the pesto.Another tasty tapa. and one of my faves, is a crostini of smoked cods roe pate and radish.Ruby red radish and ricotta would not go amiss either.
I stumbled upon an "Asian ham and chicken salad"which took me back to my childhood and a summer standby of my mother´s which she so endearingly named "slosh," I suppose because of the way in which she sloshed the dressing around a few times and poured it on the salad.This salad, although having similar flavours, is far more subtle and a lot healthier, using healthy oils and vinegar for the dressing as opposed to my mother´s lashings of mayonnaise.Sorry Mum, you know I draw great inspiration from you but not on this occasion.When raita is called for why not call for some radish.And for another side dish with a difference why not do what Martha does(ie Stewart)and serve up glazed radishes,tossed in butter,sugar and vinegar,yum.But finally my star act I owe to Mr Nigel Slater´s Sauteed radishes and grilled lamb chops.This is not dissimilar to my grilled lamb chops and chilli roasted pumkin salad.I was almost true to his recipe but I embellished it slightly by adding new potatoes to the sautée mix.I have to say in hindsight that his original dish was many degrees more vibrant and colourful in its presentation.The reason being he had different coloured varieties of radish to hand.Anyway thank you Nigel for giving us such a delicious dish.......
Sauteed radishes and grilled lamb
serves 2

radishes 125g
small new potatoes,125g
onions 2, small

shallots,2
butter 30g
vegetable or groundnut oil 3 tbsp
coriander seeds 3 tsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
lamb cutlets 12
mint leaves 8

Trim the radishes and halve lengthways. Peel the onions, cut them in half then cut each half into 3 or 4 segments.Boil the new potatoes in salted water.Set aside to cool then slice in rounds.
Melt the butter in a shallow casserole, add the oil, then the onions. Cook for 10 minutes over a moderate heat until soft, then add the radishes. Lightly crush the coriander seeds. Season with the cumin, coriander, black pepper and sea salt. Cook for 10 more minutes, partially covered.
Season the lamb cutlets and grill lightly on both sides then finish with the chopped mint and grated zest. Place the radishes on a serving plate with the cutlets on top.
Asian ham and chicken salad
1 cup frozen shelled broad beans
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 soup spoon fish sauce,nam pla
1 heaped teaspoon golden granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed Szechuan  pepper 

1/4 teaspoon crushed ancho chilli
Flor de sal and black pepper
125g ham, chopped (1 cup)

1 roasted chicken breast,torn into strips
 2 cloves garlic crushed
6 radishes, sliced

1 small carrot grated
4 spring onions, sliced

handful chopped fresh coriander and mint
2 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted peanuts


Separately, cook the rice and edamame according to the package directions.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oils,fish sauce,sugar,garlic ,pepper, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add the rice, edamame, ham, radishes, and scallions and toss to combine. Top with the peanuts.


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