The Veggie Cook
Eat radishes from top to tail
These root vegetables in the mustard family prove very versatile
Don't toss the fuzzy tops of radishes — you can eat them too. The greens are best cooked to tame their fiery flavor and prickly texture, as in this soup, which uses the radish from top to bottom. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
The French love radishes so much that they eat them very thinly sliced on a baguette, sprinkled with sea salt — nothing else.
Germans eat large, mild, black-skinned radishes with butter and salt as an accompaniment to beer. In several Asian cuisines, the even larger white daikons are used in a variety of dishes, notably pickles.
Radishes can also be braised, roasted and stir-fried. And don't throw away the fuzzy tops — you can eat them too. The greens are best cooked to tame their fiery flavor and prickly texture, as in this soup, which uses the radish from top to bottom.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 pound thin-skinned potatoes (such as redskin or Yukon Gold), skins left on, halved, thinly sliced
2 bunches radish greens, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
5 to 6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook just until they begin to become translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add potatoes; cook, turning occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from the saucepan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the greens; cook, stirring, until wilted. Return onions and potatoes to the saucepan.
2. Add 5 cups broth and the red pepper flakes. Simmer, covered, over low heat until potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Let the soup cool 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender to desired consistency. Add remaining broth, if needed. Garnish with thin slices of radish and thinly sliced radish tops.
Per serving: 152 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 660 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.
Kay Stepkin is a vegetarian cooking class instructor and former owner of a vegetarian restaurant/whole-grain bakery. Email her at email@example.com.