The radish, despite its blushing beauty and potent health properties, probably wouldn’t win “people’s choice” for most-loved vegetable; its spicy bite can be off-putting. But after a roast in the oven, with the help of some floral honey, its harshness transforms into something mellow and sweet that’s capable of converting even the staunchest radish hater.
Bitter, pungent flavors are often missing from our diets, but they point the way to an important class of foods that are especially cleansing. Radishes are members of the cruciferous family—they’re packed with liver-detoxifying isothiocyanates and contain innumerable antioxidants and immune-supporting compounds that defend against chronic disease. Make this dish a side to any meal or a vibrant salad add-in. To make this dish vegan, maple syrup can stand in for the honey.
2 bunches of radishes
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Remove the leaves from the radish. Cut the radishes in half if they’re small, or into quarters if they are larger.
- In a small bowl, toss radishes with the olive oil, salt, honey and apple cider vinegar. Spread on a baking tray and roast in the oven until softened and lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Add more salt if needed and some freshly ground black pepper.
- Thyme-roasted radishes. Add 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves to the radishes before roasting.
- Radishes and their greens. Instead of roasting the radishes, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the radishes along with the salt, and stir for a minute. Add ½ cup water and cover to steam for 3-5 minutes. When radishes are soft all the way through, remove the lid and add the washed radish greens. Stir to cook off any remaining water. Add the honey and apple cider vinegar, stirring to coat. Remove radishes from the heat and taste for seasoning.
- Honey-roasted roots. Follow instructions with any root vegetable, cut into 1-inch chunks; try beets or carrots.
To keep fresh radishes from going limp and mushy prior to cooking, remove the leaves from the tops before storing them in the refrigerator. This goes for any root vegetable that comes with green tops, such as beets or carrots—the leaves draw water from the roots.
- A radish’s spiciness can help eliminate the buildup of mucus in the body, as well as clear stuffy sinuses. It’s said to ease sore throats, too.
- Radishes are a great summer food; they have an internal cooling effect on the body. Eastern medicine prescribes them to dispel excess bodily heat and phlegm that cause weight gain and lethargy after the winter months.
- For digestive problems, a small amount of raw or pickled radishes taken with a meal can help prevent food stagnation and indigestion.