I love a good spicy raw radish, but I only think of them as just nice crunchy additions to my salad. Turns out, I had a very myopic view of radishes. Not only are there endless salad variations for the brightly colored globes, but you can also cook them. To be frank, cooking a radish never crossed my mind. I just didn’t think it was done. Thank goodness for the Internet to broaden my culinary horizons.
Radishes are a member of the cruciferous family, which includes health-star siblings like cabbage, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, they are high in antioxidants, high in dietary fiber, and low in calories. Radish greens pack even more vitamin C than the globes. Radishes are purported to be beneficial for respiratory problems, digestive disorders, asthma, bronchitis and liver and gallbladder troubles. All of that in a pretty pink little package.
Our radishes are still growing. I have pulled a few very tasty gumball-sized ones. The radishes at the farmer’s market give ours something to which to aspire. They are beautiful indeed. So I grabbed several bunches and decided to experiment.
Sesame Ginger Chicken with Roasted Radishes on Radish Greens
I like this recipe because it satisfies my frugal nature by using all the parts of the radish. In fact, the radish greens in this dish are my favorite part.
4-6 pieces of chicken, skin on (plan on 3 ounces per person)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sake (optional)
1/4 sesame seeds
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 bunches of radishes (with greens)
Dash of Cayenne pepper
-Rinse chicken pieces in water and pat dry.
-Mix soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, honey, ginger, garlic, sake, lime, rice vinegar and water. Set aside 1/4 cup and pour the rest over the chicken. Let marinate for 20 minutes (or longer if you have the time).
-Preheat oven to 400°F.
-Wash radishes and radish greens well. Remove greens and set aside.
-Cut radish globes into fourths and toss in the reserved 1/4 cup of marinade until coated.
-Brush the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil.
– Arrange chicken pieces skin-side up in roasting pan. Pour marinade over chicken.
– Add radishes around the chicken.
-Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 15-20 minutes more until juices run clear or until the internal temperature reads 170° F.
-Remove and chicken and radishes from the roasting pan and set aside leaving the liquid in the pan.
-Toss the washed radish greens in the pan.
-Return pan to oven for 3-4 more minutes or until the greens are wilted.
To serve, place the greens on a plate, top with the chicken and radishes. Drizzle the pan drippings over everything. Coconut rice from last week’s column will go nicely with this dish.