Broiled Radishes

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I’m not generally one to encourage more work when less will do. If a recipe can be simplified – fewer ingredients, one less bowl, cutting out steps – I’m for it, and have usually already done it. That also means not cooking things if they are just as enjoyable freshly washed and eaten raw. But for these radishes, I’ll make an exception.

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I wouldn’t have thought to try broiling – or in any way cooking – radishes if it hadn’t been for an otherwise unmemorable restaurant meal. I don’t remember where it was or what we ate other than tiny buttered and roasted radishes. They were sweet and rich and a little spicy; I kept stealing them off Jeff’s plate when I finished mine. And then I consigned them to one of those things that are great in a restaurant but not so good at home. And then I told myself that was stupid and just made them.

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In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t much more complicated than just serving raw radishes with bread and butter (which you should also do, delicious) but it is truly surprising which when it comes to food isn’t something I come across often. I’m not saying go crazy and start braising celery or frying cucumbers; some things are best left alone. But broiled radishes are a whole new way to experience something that, let’s be honest, is a little boring and often gets forgotten. This is not boring; that’s certainly worth a little extra effort.

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Last year we ate: Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie

Broiled Radishes

Before you dive right in and make these (Although you could, of course, dive right in without knowing. It might be more exciting.) let me give you an idea of what cooked radishes taste like. They’re still a little spicy, horseradish-y, almost like a mild turnip. The butter is rich and the miso is sweet and salty which makes these incredibly easy to eat, one after the other.

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons miso
2 bunches radishes
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Turn on the broiler (to hi, if yours has multiple settings) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. In a medium bowl (large enough to fit the radishes), mix the softened butter and miso together. Set the bowl aside.

Wash the radishes and remove the stems, then spread them on the pan and sprinkle with salt. Broiled them for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown a bit on the bottoms (this will be faster if you use foil).

Once the radishes are just starting to brown on the bottoms and have a little give, take them out and dump them into the bowl with the miso butter. Give it a good stir and then dump the radishes back onto the pan. Return it to the broiler for another 5 minutes, giving it a good shake about halfway through to allow the radishes to cook evenly. When they’re a little soft and deep brown in spots, take them out and turn off the broiler. Serve them hot, either immediately, or reheated within the next week. These are really best either warm or hot since when they’re cold the butter solidifies again.

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