Recipe: Roasted Radishes


05 Sep Recipe: Roasted Radishes


Radishes at the Farmers' Market - TheMessyBaker

To observe my mother eating radishes is to understand that over-used phrase “living in the moment.”

They are not munched like baby carrots or popped into her mouth like grapes. They are consumed with quiet, focused deliberation. To begin, she sets a small bowl of radishes on the table beside her. They are scrubbed and trimmed, with just enough stem to form a handle. She then carefully pours a modest pool of salt on her plate before plucking a radish from the pile. Once she has selected a radish, she nibbles a tiny piece from the tip and dips the freshly exposed end into the salt. She then proceeds to eat the radish, crunching away with a look of peaceful concentration on her face. She doesn’t talk. She doesn’t touch the other meal items in front of her. She devotes herself fully to the radish.

She repeats these steps until her allotment of radishes is gone. The rest of her meal them resumes.

Me? I just watch. I love the colour, the shape and the crunch of radishes. But despite many determined attempts to embrace this root vegetable, I just don’t like the taste.

So when I saw the plate of roasted radishes on the cover of  Trish Magwood’s In My Mother’s Kitchen, I had to get a copy. I knew instinctively that this would be the recipe where mother and daughter came together in radish love. The dish in question is called Roasted Reds — radishes, red onion and grape tomatoes, all roasted in olive oil and fresh herbs.

The book arrived. I found the  recipe. I made it. I served it. I waited for the verdict.

My father liked the grape tomatoes, Andrew went for seconds on the red onions. To my relief, I found that once roasted, radishes are delightful. As for Mom? She will continue to eat her radishes raw. Dipped in salt. Consumed in silence with only the crunch of the radish to accompany her thoughts.

At least we agree on pavlova.

Roasted Reds - A radish recipe -

Review in Brief

 Will appeal to: Home cooks looking for simple meals that even fussy eaters can enjoy, will love Magwood’s unpretentious comfort food. Few, if any, exotic ingredients go into these classic down-home dishes.

Must try recipes:

  • Cheddar Chive Buttermilk Scones
  • Thai Chicken on a Stick with Peanut Sauce
  • No-Ice-Cream-Maker Lemon Ice Cream

Biggest surprise: “Forbidden” Desserts. This short but very sweet chapter relies on “more than their fair share of packaged convenience ingredients” such as  Jello, cake mix and store bought ice cream. Magwood, whose last book won a James Beard Award, recognizes you must “set aside any prejudices” to enjoy them. She assures you these are worth it. And they are.


Related Post

  • Russell at Chasing Delicious
    Posted at 16:35h, 05 September Reply

    Beautiful photos! This recipe looks wonderful as well. I’ve never worked with radishes. Is there anything specific Ishould be looking for when buying them?

  • myFudo
    Posted at 22:22h, 05 September Reply

    Looks really delicious… I’ve never seen radishes this good. Love your photo.

    P.S am giving away a free lunch bag over at my sight, come check it out.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:43h, 06 September Reply

      I’d never thought of roasting radishes until I saw the book cover. Funny how I like them this way and my mom prefers them raw. I think she likes the “bite” of the raw, which is precisely what I don’t like.

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 13:38h, 06 September Reply

    Hi, Charmian! We’re neighbors on CookBookKarma today. That recipe looks very nice. Though I’ve roasted radishes a few times, I wouldn’t have thought to combine them with tomatoes. I have to admit, though, I tend to agree with your mom in preferring my radishes raw. Hope you’ll have me back anyway. I do like pavlova, if it helps.

    Really love your Review in Brief feature, too. Very stylin.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:47h, 06 September Reply

      Lovely to hear from you! Didn’t know we were CookbookKarma neighbours. Small world (and a great site!).

      As long as you side with my mom you are good in my books. I feel like a bit of a failure not liking radishes — they are the loveliest of the root vegetables. So round and cheerful.

      Glad you like my Review in Brief feature. I’ll be doing this from now on. Wonder why I didn’t think of it earlier!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 18:08h, 06 September Reply

    Dear Sis,
    Don’t worry about not liking radishes. You didn’t grow up eating them, and usually children are only given radishes as cruel joke. They think they are mini apples and get a real surprise!! We never pulled that prank on you. (Too late now I guess.)
    I only like radishes in my MIL’s potato salad.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:18h, 06 September Reply

      I think the stories of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle planting radish seeds on the kid who refused to bathe nailed the coffin on radishes for me. Mom ate them regularly when I was a kid. Perhaps I viewed them through the filter of punishment.

      At any rate, I enjoy them roasted, not raw. It only took me four decades to figure this out.

  • Siobhan
    Posted at 10:25h, 07 September Reply

    I’ve often sautéed radishes as a side dish. Cut them in half (or quarters if large), and stir fry in a bit of oil with salt and garlic. Really lovely – even people who normally don’t like radishes seem to love this.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:29h, 07 September Reply

      What a great idea. Sounds lovely. I’ll have to give this a try. I’ve got lots of garlic on hand. Thanks for the enticing suggestion.

  • Lana
    Posted at 16:27h, 10 September Reply

    My mom and dad eat them just like your mother, and I am usually firmly seated on the bench, just looking, like you:) I don’t hate them, but I have never developed the affection needed to truly appreciate the radishes. I slice them thinly and put them in salads in spring, but I am more them willing to roast them – no fault in adding another good vegetable to the dinner routine:)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:26h, 11 September Reply

      Really?! Your parents eat them like my mom does? I’ve never seen anyone else do this. I wonder if it’s generational?

      If you do roast them, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      Thanks so much for sharing your radish story with me!

      • Kate
        Posted at 14:02h, 16 October Reply

        This sounds exactly like my grandmother. Depending on what she had, she’d set out a “snack board” during card games or during “her stories [soaps]” which had a pile of scrubbed radishes, a dish of kosher salt, and sometimes, but not often, a few slices of dark bread with butter for a radish sandwich sprinkled with salt. Usually it was just dip and crunch, dip and crunch. If she didn’t have radishes, she’d use green onions, and eat only the white portions dipped in salt.

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 07:38h, 17 October Reply

          Thanks for sharing your grandmother’s story, Kate. I guess it is a generational thing. I thought my mom was the only person to do this! Dip and crunch, indeed!

          Makes me wonder what we do now that people 50 years down the road will scratch their heads at.

  • Heather Culpepper
    Posted at 18:37h, 12 September Reply

    This looks great! I can’t wait to get to the store!!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 07:39h, 17 October Reply

      Best part is it’s super simple to make — as is the case with a lot of dishes. Enjoy!

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