The first time I had a watermelon radish it was served to me by Ryan Voiland. He and his beautiful wife had me for lunch and a farm tour on a spectacular, yet freezing, deep winter's day. Their little cottage in Granby was toasty and the food was elegant, hearty and all their own. Slivers of watermelon radishes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt served as our appetizer.
As you can see the color of this radish is a brillant pink, just like a traditional watermelon. Sweeter and less spicy than their red, white and green cousins, this variety is terrific on it's own or lighlty cooked as in this simple and savory recipe.
In case you don't know, radishes are a member of the cruciferous family which also includes cabbage, kale, broccoli, and brusselssprouts. They contain caner fighting elements and have long been prescribed for people with liver disorders. Radishes are also known to help to maintain a healthy gallbladder and improve digestion. While the roots are what most people are familiar with radish greens are a good source vitamin C, calcium, and protein. We have adapted this recipe to put a fresh spin on an under appreciated veg and makes the most of Red Fire Farm's rainbow of radishes.
2 tbsp Earth Balance (soy butter)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water (or whey if you have it from making cheese)
2 bunches radishes and their greens, about 1 1/2 lb total
3/4 tsp Gremolade
Halve radish roots lengthwise, then slice crosswise ¼”.thick. Chop greens. Heat butter with oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté radishes with Gremolade and pepper, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Add water and cook, covered, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, then cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated, 1-4 minutes. Add chopped radish greens and sauté, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute.
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Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini