I’m a bit obsessed by radishes these days. First takuan (Japanese pickled daikon radishes) and now simply roasted radishes. I thought about waiting on this post, so you wouldn’t notice my obsession, but it would hardly be fair to you to keep this revelation to myself.
You should roast radishes – really! Whether you’re completely put off by the idea or just skeptical, whether you never eat raw radishes or love them, this adventure will surprise, and hopefully delight, you.
Note to those of you who have already discovered roasted radishes – don’t think ill of me that I spent decades not knowing about this. I may have been living under a rock recently, but I can account for the decades before then in terms of my radish-roasting ignorance.
I grew up in the pre-internet age when knowledge of such important subjects couldn’t be so easily found. There were no daily digests of the latest and greatest trendy techniques and TheKitchn, SeriousEats, and cable cooking channels didn’t even exist! (How did we live in those dark, pre-foodie times?) Well, enough of that – back to radishes.
Roasting is transformative for radishes. Raw, they have a bite that some find unpleasant. But after roasting that bite disappears, replaced by a subtle sweetness.
Although radishes are available year round, winter is the perfect season to roast them. No need for fancy flourishes; a bit of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper is all that you need. Sure you can add a few pinches of fresh or dried herbs, or drizzle a bit of warm honey or maple syrup on them afterwards, but I’m happiest when they are simply roasted.
There are only 3 requirements to roast any ingredient – vegetable, meat or even fruit – according to Barbara Kafka in her book Roasting: A Simple Art:
- High heat;
- Fat (oil, butter, meat fat, or a combination); and
- A pan with sides not higher than 2 inches in which the ingredients lie flat without much space between them, but with enough room so that they do not overlap.
The pan size and contours are important because if it is too small and the ingredients are piled on top of one another or the sides are too high, the ingredients will steam instead of roast. On the other hand, if the pan is too big, the fat will burn on the empty spaces. The sides should not be too high or the heat cannot sear the ingredients you are roasting.
This recipe is super simple and the combination of vegetables is a colorful and tasty medley. You can dress it up with herbs and spices, but I’d suggest trying it without added flavors the first time so you can appreciate the taste of the radishes.
My friend Aviva of The Six O’clock Scramble brought me a fabulously large red radish. I used some of that one and also several smaller ones in this batch – their tastes were identical to me and I simply cut the large one into pieces the same size as the halved smaller radishes.
Roasted Radishes, Carrots, and Potatoes
Servings – 2 Cost – $3
- 1 pound of mixed carrots, radishes and potatoes, all washed or peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces. (Cut the small radishes in half)
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used extra virgin olive – safflower, grapeseed or other oils work too.)
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Medium-small pan
- Metal spatula or pancake turner
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Coat the chopped vegetables in the oil. I simply move them around in the pan, turning them over with my fingers (or use a fork) or put the vegetables and oil in a plastic bag and shake them around.
- Lay the vegetables in a single layer on the pan. Roast for total of 18-25 minutes, turning them after 10 minutes. They are done when flat sides of the potatoes and the radishes turn golden and the edges begin to brown.
What’s the craziest (or most surprising) food you’ve ever roasted?