Radishes are bonkers. When they are raw, they are crunchy and peppery. When they are roasted or cooked in a frying pan, they turn juicy and sweet. And I love using them in place of potatoes for hashes, salads, or a quick snack.
But I recently realized that I’ve been quite rude with my radishes, always paying attention to what’s below instead of looking above their shoulders. I mean, if some guy treated me that way, you’d better believe they’d get a reminder that there’s more to this package then some sturdy roots.
So yesterday, with two bushels of radishes in my basket, I decided to give the flowing locks on this pretty little vegetable some well deserved love and attention.
As with most vegetables, the radish leaves are edible and by using them in your cooking, in place of more familiar greens, you can not only alter the flavor of a humdrum dish, but you can really stretch your dollar as well. Making the greens a useful addition to your low sodium cooking arsenal.
Whether your leaves come from carrots, fava beans, beets, or of course radishes, add them to your next vegetable stew. Use them in your stock. Cook them like spinach and put them over pasta or lentils. Or use them in a salad like I have below.
Get creative and discover a new world of flavors that (achem) were right in front of you the whole time.
Pumpkin, Apple, Radish Greens Salad
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup salt-free pumpkin seeds
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1/4 teaspoon red (or black) peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 gala apple, core removed and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 cup cleaned and chopped radish greens
Place raisins with balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and allow them to soak while you prepare the salad. This way they will burst with little bits of “dressing” when you bite them. It’s a neat little salad trick to keep your greens from getting too wilted and heavy with liquid.
Then heat a small frying pan over medium-high flame. Add your pumpkin seeds and toast until you start to hear them pop like popcorn, 2-3 minutes. Take off of heat and put the seeds into a salad bowl. Keep the frying pan over medium-high flame.
Pop your cardamom pods open by placing a knife over them and hitting the flat side with your palm. Remove the little black seeds and add them to the hot frying pan with the red peppercorns. Toast the seeds, allowing their aromas to blossom, 1-2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and then add the apple cubes. They should sizzle a bit. Let the apples cook, no stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Mix them and then cook 1 minute more. Put the apples and the toasted spices into the salad bowl.
Finally, add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add the greens and cook until they soften and become vibrant in color, about 1 minute. Immediately remove the greens from heat (you can turn off the flame now) and add them to your salad bowl. Drain the raisins from the balsamic vinegar and add them to the bowl as well. Drizzle a bit of the extra vinegar into the bowl, mix everything, and taste. And more balsamic vinegar if you want to.
Put it on a plate and eat.