Think beyond the familiar red globe – there are so many types of radishes out there right now, with a full range of peppery bite, says Travis Swikard, the executive chef of Boulud Sud in New York City.
RECIPE REBECCA MILLER FFRENCH PHOTO TED CAVANAUGH FOOD STYLING JAMIE KIMM PROP STYLING EMILY MULLIN/HELLO ARTISTS
Two of his favourites: extra-crunchy, sweet French breakfast and mild, juicy watermelon. The low-cal veggie works in a wide variety of dishes, including salads, soups and mains; tastes as delicious cooked as it does raw; and is packed with vitamin C. Try Travis’ signature dish, which uses the leaves too, and the two other chef creations below.
GRILL THEM AND TOSS WITH PESTO
Remove and reserve the greens from 450g of daikon, turnip and red radishes each. Slice them into 8mm pieces. Then slice 680g red potatoes to the same thickness. Toss radishes, potatoes and crushed garlic with olive oil, and grill on both sides until tender, for 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch radish greens in boiling water for 1 minute, then cool in an ice bath for about 30 seconds. In a food processor, puree greens with 2 garlic cloves, 2 anchovy fillets, a handful of pine nuts and ¼ cup rinsed capers, while streaming in 1 cup extra virgin olive oil until semi-smooth. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over grilled radishes and potatoes, and toss pieces with radish greens pesto to taste.
BLEND THEM INTO A GAZPACHO
Craig Richards, executive chef of St Cecilia in Atlanta
In a blender, place 1 fennel bulb (220g), cored and chopped with fronds reserved; 3 garlic cloves; the flesh of 1 watermelon (around 3kg), roughly chopped; 450g radishes (any type), roughly chopped; and ¼ cup sherry vinegar. Puree, streaming in 1 cup olive oil. Garnish with sliced radishes and chopped fennel fronds.
TRY IT NOW... RADISHES MAKE A TANGY SLAW
Oliver Ridgeway, executive chef of Grange Restaurant & Bar in Sacramento, the US
Whisk together 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, ¼ cup low-fat yogurt, and salt to taste. Shred or coarsely grate 1 large carrot, 2 celery stalks, 6 large radishes (any kind), ¼ medium red cabbage, and 2 Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples. Add the dressing and toss to coat.