Most people find the idea of cooked radishes strange until they taste them. Cooking seems to remove most of the sharpness and brings out sweetness in radishes. Sort of like a turnip without the bitterness, cooked radishes have a pleasant bit of funkiness that is all their own.
This recipe can be made two ways – the only difference is whether you cover the radishes for the first thirty minutes of roasting or not. The difference in the flavor is pronounced, however. If you cover the radishes, they will have a more turnip-y flavor and will be plumper and a bit crisp. If you cook them uncovered the entire time, the radishes brown up, shrink and shrivel a little, and develop a roasted flavor that is quite pleasing. They will be tender and succulent as well. Both are excellent, and I recommend you try them both ways at the same time so you can see what I am talking about.
1 bunch of radishes, topped and washed
1 tablespoon oil-something neutral flavored like grapeseed is ideal
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Halve the radishes lengthwise, and put into a bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat them. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and then the thyme. Toss to evenly distribute the seasonings.
Place the radishes on a baking sheet, being sure not to crowd them so they cook evenly. If using the covered method, tightly cover the radishes with aluminum foil, leaving room between the foil and the radishes.
Put the pan in the middle of the oven and cook 30 minutes. If covered, remove the foil at this time. Check that the radishes are not burning. If uncovered, turn the radishes over. Return to the oven and cook 15 minutes more.
At this point, the radishes should be done. Taste one to be sure it no longer has a raw taste to it. You might wish to cook the covered style radishes a little longer to caramelize the outside some more. If the radishes need more time, return to the oven and check in 5 minutes. This should do it.
When radishes are done, serve.
You could also add a little orange juice with the oil for a nice flavor, or a little mirin and soy sauce and ginger juice. Roasted radishes are delicious served at room temperature as well.
YIELD: Serves 4