Braised radishes are a relatively unknown novelty, or shall we say art form, that rely on a French cooking technique, chicken stock, and butter to turn the everyday into the elegant.
Heck yeah you can braise radishes. In fact, we’d go so far as to say braising radishes is tantamount to an art form. When subjected to gentle heat, radishes’ vibrant fire engine red fades to the palest shade of pink, and their peppery rawness gives way to an almost sweet nuttiness. Trust the French to make something even lovelier than in its natural state with a simple, spare touch—and the technique couldn’t be easier or less expensive. It’s an easy and elegant side dish that, as the author notes, makes a stylish accompaniment to roast chicken or poached white fish or, we daresay, braised pork.–Renee Schettler Rossi
*What Are Breakfast Radishes?
This braised radishes recipe calls for breakfast radishes, which are a white-tipped variety of radish that tends to be milder than its rotund red counterpart. The elongated shape of the breakfast radish lends a subtle elegance to the table—and for that reason they are quite often preferred for entertaining.
Braised Radishes Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 20 M
- Serves 6
- 2 bunches radishes, preferably breakfast radishes*
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 milliliters) homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
- 4 1/2 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces or 62 grams) unsalted butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the tips and tops from the radishes. Rinse the radishes thoroughly in cold water, rubbing the radishes with your fingers to remove any dirt. (If using round red radishes in place of slender breakfast radishes, cut them in half or, if large, in quarters.) Place the radishes in a sauté pan that’s large enough to comfortably hold the radishes in a single layer.
- 2. Pour the chicken stock over the radishes and add the butter. Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t completely cover the radishes. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook, tossing the radishes occasionally so they cook evenly and to coat them with the cooking liquid, until they’re almost tender, anywhere from 8 to 13 minutes, depending on the size of the radishes and the flame under the pan.
- 3. When the radishes are almost tender, turn up the heat slightly to reduce the liquid until there is just enough to coat the radishes in a pale, glossy glaze. Gently turn the radishes and their cooking liquid into a small dish. (If your radishes are perfectly tender and you have quite a lot of cooking liquid, use a slotted spoon to place the radishes in a small serving dish and then continue to simmer the cooking liquid until it’s the desired sauce-like consistency and then pour it over the radishes.)
- 4. Add another sprinkle of salt and a generous grind of pepper. Serve warm.
Even Simpler Braised Radishes Variation
- If you’re out of chicken stock and butter and are too time-pressed to run to the store or if you simply prefer a slightly less rich or vegan or dairy-free rendition of this braised radishes recipe, you can use cold water as a stand-in for the chicken stock and mild olive oil for the butter and still end up with a spectacularly pleasing side dish.