I used to seriously dislike radishes. They are so sneaky – pretty, alluring red and then, BAM, hot-peppery-cabbage taste. However, before you go nodding your head with the “uh, huh, sista,” consider a radish that’s not been sitting in a bag for two weeks waiting for some unsuspecting person who loves colorful food to put them in their shopping cart. What if instead, you found them at a farmer’s market. They’d been picked the day before, grown in cool weather, were small and not woody. THEN you would feel how I currently feel about radishes.
I am in love with them. I put them in my salads, roast them, make salsa with them and dip them in aioli. They are still a tiny bit peppery and when they are paired with baguette and good butter, the nutty taste of them is enhanced and boy, is that good. Of course, I will admit, that almost anything paired with baguette and butter is better than on it’s own, but hey, it’s all good.
So I took my radish show on the road to the Maine Ingredient and paired a Radish and Red Onion Salsa with Fish Tacos plus Homemade Tortillas, Refried Pinto Beans and a Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa.
Grilled Asparagus, Carrots and Radishes with Lemon Aioli
For this recipe you will need either a grill pan or a cast iron skillet which can be placed directly over the grill.
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths; about half a bunch
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks the size of the asparagus or thinner; about 3 carrots
1 bunch radishes, ends and tips removed and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Make a direct heat fire or heat the grill to medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables and coat with oil, salt and pepper. When the fire is ready, place the grill pan or skillet onto the grill and allow to heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place the veggies on the grill pan or skillet. Keep a constant eye, moving the veggies around frequently. Remove those that are seared on the exterior to the original bowl. The asparagus will be done first, the carrots next and the radishes last.
Serve immediately with Lemon Aioli
Serves 4 to 6
1 small clove garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest, zest from about one lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and pulse until combined. Ever so slowly, while the motor is running, add the oil. After about a minute of dribbling the oil in, you can add it more quickly.
Makes a little over 1/2 cup