Sweet and Ravishing Honey and Butter Braised Radishes
You didn’t know there was a radish season, did you? It’s OK to admit. Those sad little bags that are in the grocery store all year make it easy to forget they can be special. And they’re special right now. When you see a colorful bunch at the farmers market, those aren’t the same thing. They’re superior and worth celebrating. Grab a bunch, or several, and eat a couple with butter and salt as soon as you get home, because you shouldn’t have to wait any longer. But with the rest, try this braise, which opens a new window on their flavor profile. You’ll start looking forward to radish season every spring.
See Cook’s Notes on how to choose radishes and how to use their greens.
total time: 40 minutes
active prep: 20 minutes
serves: 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 small bunches radishes, tops trimmed, scrubbed; large radishes (over 1½ inches) quartered, medium radishes (1¼ to 1½ inches) halved, small radishes (under 1¼ inches) left whole
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon picked leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable scrubbing brush (optional but helpful)
Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, cut side down if cut, in a single layer and cook undisturbed until the cut sides are golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the broth, honey, vinegar and thyme sprigs, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
Cook until the radishes are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until the liquid reduces to a sauce and glazes the radishes, stirring once or twice, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs, then transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the picked thyme leaves. Serve.
We like to look for medium-size radishes as they’re less likely to be woody inside.
Radishes with fresh perky green tops are significantly fresher and sweeter than their bagged counterparts. The greens are edible and nice and peppery, just remove, wash, chop and sauté them.
While you don’t have to, it looks nice if you leave a little of the greens attached when trimming the radishes.
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