Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Buttery Radishes with Mint

ALERT: the diversity of brassica seeds grown in the Willamette Valley is endangered by a plan to lift the ban on growing canola, which can cross pollinates with many different brassica plants. Read more about this issue here and here and express your opposition to this plan by Friday August 10 by signing this petition.   

Sweetwater Farm packs an enormous variety of produce in their custom trailer that they take to market, giving customers the opportunity to move beyond summer basics like tomato and basil salads and to experiment with new ingredients and flavors. I loved the way farmers John and Lynn nestled these rosy red radishes in among the sweet cherries and cherry tomatoes, tempting innocent passers by to move beyond their comfort zone of sweet fruit into the brassica family. I fell for the ploy and snatched up a pint.

Also I had wanted to try this recipe for sauteed radishes and mint. The preparation is very similar to these brown butter turnips, where chopped root vegetables are sauteed slowly in butter, tempering their sharpness and bringing out a mellow sweetness that is punctuated here with the bright flavor of fresh mint.

These made a delicious and easy side dish for salmon cakes and the old standby of tomatoes with basil.

Buttery Radishes with Mint
adapted from a food52 recipe by liahuber

1 pint of 1 large bunch of radishes
1 to 2 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1 spring mint (~8 leaves)

1. Trim the tops and tails from the turnips and cut them into quarters or more for larger radishes so that they are equivalently sized. 

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter, add the radish pieces and a generous pinch of salt, and saute for about ten minutes, turning occasionally, until the radishes are soft through and have browned on some sides. Transfer to a bowl and stir in torn mint leaves. Serve warm.

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