People are very opinionated about radishes. It’s a love/hate relationship.
When I was young I hated raw radishes. They were too spicy (hot). I’d watch my dad pop them in his mouth like cherry tomatoes. He’d crunch them with his mouth open, inhaling air at the same time. He made them look so good. I’d try them every time he ate them, but my disgust persisted.
Raw radishes are an acquired taste, and some people will never like them raw.
Eventually, my young taste buds matured, and I learned to like the peppery flavors and dry chalky texture.
Radishes are a root vegetable, and like potatoes or turnips, they can be baked or sautéed, which softens the flavors. They sweeten up while they cook and the flavors become mild and earthy.
Last week, my first CSA (Certified Sustainable Agriculture) box arrived with a large bundle of radishes. Excited, I cut the leafy tops off and saved them for a green smoothie. I bagged the root parts. I will eat some raw on salads and saved the rest to grill with potatoes and onions for grilled radish-potato salad.
Cutting the tops off immediately stop the leaves from draining the roots of moisture, which will make the radish roots squishy and rubbery.
It’s fun telling people radishes can be roasted. Makes me feel like I’m doing something radical or almost against some unspoken food laws. Until only a couple years ago, I’d never seen them prepared any other way than sliced raw.
This recipe is best grilled at the end. I partially cook the potatoes and radishes in the microwave to help soften them before grilling. They get that nice grilled flavor, but they don’t over cook or burn.
Summer Grilled Radish and Potato Salad
1lb. fresh radishes, with tops removed and red parts sliced in half
2 large red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes.
2 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced into wedges and peeled apart
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. capers
1 garlic clove, minced fine
Dash of sriracha sauce
2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley, chopped
In a large microwaveable bowl, combine radishes, potatoes, and oil. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 minutes until potatoes are slightly tender. Set aside.
Preheat grill to approximately 450 degrees.
Skewer radishes, potatoes, and onions on metal or bamboo skewers. Grill vegetables on each side for 3-5 minutes, until they are tender, and charred on the edges. Set aside.
In a large clean bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sriracha, and garlic. Add capers and salt to taste. Add warm grilled vegetables; stir to coat. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with parsley. This salad can be served warm, room temperature or cold.