For me, radishes represent the transition from winter to spring. Firmly planted in the ground like their cousin root vegetables, radishes can be grown in the wintry months alongside fellow cold-weather plants like carrots or parsnips. But also harvested from spring through summer, radishes can be as delicate as the edible greens that grow atop their bulbs, or as light as their sprouts that you’ll often find at the health food store. (If you haven’t tried radish sprouts yet, put them on your must-try list this summer!)
In fact, the radish is all these things: a root vegetable, a leafy green, and a sprouting seedling, all in one. Hence the transition from winter to spring within one little vegetable.
The bulbs are most widely eaten part of the radish, the part we’re usually referring to when we mention a “radish,” and they range in colors from pure white to baby pink and minty green to lilac purple. They are as pretty a vegetable as they come! The sheer prettiness of the radish’s outer coat is yet another representation of springtime’s blooming arrival.
This recipe is all about commemorating spring radishes. It’s incredibly simplistic, letting the color, shape, and flavor of radishes really shine. Lemons, parsley, radishes—an incredibly vibrant dish that will become any gardener’s delight.
Sautéed Radishes Recipe with Brown Butter and Lemon Sauce
Makes 4 small servings
1 small bunch radishes, rinsed, greens trimmed and reserved for another use
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon lest
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Depending on the size of radishes, chop down to about ½-inch size pieces, or leave whole if very small.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium until butter foams then subsides, about 1 minute. Add radishes and a pinch of salt; cook until radishes are lightly browned on the outside and fork-tender on the inside, stirring, about 10 minutes. Remove radishes with a slotted spoon to serving plate.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet, along with lemon juice and zest. Cook until butter browns lightly and sauce cooks down, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.
Spoon sauce over radishes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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All images by Kimberley Stakal