While we endure the typical extremes in weather here in Michigan – hot one day, cold the next – the calendar tells us that it is undoubtedly springtime. This also marks the beginning of the growing season. For me, the sight of bright yellow forsythias and deep purple lilacs is the indication that the throws of winter are safely behind us (although I’ve been fooled once or twice) and we can get back to the business of enjoying the outdoors.
This also means that gradually the wonderful fruits and vegetables grown in our great state will begin to make their way to the markets. Among the early arrivals are radishes. These bright red globes grow to full maturity in just a few weeks, so the first harvest is often available in late spring. Not everyone is a radish fan, but even for those who are, there is usually a limit on how many can be eaten in one sitting. Typically reserved for tossing in salads or eaten raw with salt or on a veggie tray, the sharp bite of the radish can give pause.
One way to mellow out the sharpness or “hotness” of radishes and serve them in a whole new manner is to sauté them with butter and serve them warm. Cooking radishes not only changes the flavor, it also softens the texture and lightens the color. And don’t forget the radish greens! They are not only edible, they have great flavor. They can be eaten raw, but I like to sauté them along with the radishes and serve together. Because radishes grow in the ground, just make sure that everything is very well washed.
Here’s to the start of a great season of eating and enjoying!
2 bunches radishes
3 TBSP butter
1 ¼ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 TBSP butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Give the radishes and greens a good washing and rinsing. Trim off the greens and set aside. Trim the stem and root ends off radishes. Cut radishes in half lengthwise, or cut into quarters if they are very large.