With all of the fresh produce that I got in my CSA delivery, I felt ‘inspired’ to go out of my comfort zone and try something a little different. I need to tell you that first, cooking radishes was a new experience for me; second, I had never eaten a cooked radish until last night; and third, four bunches of radishes were intimidating. I’m not sure that I even buy four bunches of radishes in a year.
As I sat staring at all of that produce waiting for me to decide how I was going to use it, it occurred to me that perhaps since all of these things are in season at the same time, then they might have complimentary flavors…under the right conditions. Pondering produce; positively profound.
I decided to saute the radishes, peas, and green garlic in a little olive oil, then season them with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and rice vinegar. John loved this dish and went back for seconds. I couldn’t quite decide what I thought about it mainly because it was a new experience for me. I loved the peas, but the radishes were a bit of a puzzle; not an unpleasant puzzle, just a “hmm, this is different” puzzle. In the end, the more that I ate the radishes, the more I decided that I liked them. John’s enthusiasm was a great motivator, too.
As for the green garlic, I decided that it was wonderful. In the event that you are not familiar with green garlic, it is simply garlic which has been picked before it matures. The flavor is mild, almost delicate, with a hint of garlicky sweetness once it is cooked.
I used a wok shaped pan to cook the vegetables over high heat. I started out with the radishes in the pan first because I knew that they would take longer to cook. Because of the high heat, I kept them moving, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes before adding the peas and garlic. I was surprised to find that the green garlic cooked almost instantly, so I definitely kept up the stirring and tossing once it hit the pan.
There is one thing that I will change the next time I make this dish and that will be to cut the radishes into smaller chunks. The size of the radishes was a definite mismatch for the size of the peas. I don’t know why I didn’t think about that in the first place. Oh well. Geez, I just thought of something. If I was a really stellar food blogger, I would never have posted this recipe until everything was perfect, right? Now I am annoyed at myself and the above picture is going to bug the heck out of me until I make this dish again and cut the radishes smaller. Probably won’t get to sleep at all tonight.
Actually, I am working on some other ideas in my head about possibilities for radishes. All these years and I’ve only ever had radishes raw in a salad. Low and behold they actually have potential in other directions.
- 4 bunches radishes, cut into medium-sized pieces
- 2-2 1/2 cups fresh shelled green peas (this is about 2 pounds unshelled)
- 4 bulbs green garlic, outermost skin removed, then sliced approximately 1/4-inch thick
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- Heat a wok-style pan (or a large frying pan with straight sides) over high heat.
- Drizzle the radishes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (just a light sprinkling with the pepper), and toss them into the hot pan. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add peas to the radishes and continue to stir fry for another minute.
- Add the green garlic to the radishes and peas and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, or just until the peas are crisp tender. Be careful to keep the contents of pan moving because the green garlic will cook quickly and burns easily.
- Turn off the heat source and add the seasoned rice vinegar and sugar. Stir the vegetables to cover them well with the vinegar.