Cooked radishes are delicious. Considering that I never even thought about cooking radishes before, it was a very pleasant surprise. Thanks to the Larousse Gastronomique, I no longer fear the glut of radishes from this spring's garden.
Walt went out and pulled up 24 radishes. He trimmed off the fanes — the green tops — and cleaned the radishes as if we planned to eat them raw with bread, butter, and salt. Then I washed and picked through the fanes to eliminate leaves that weren't nearly perfect.
I started cooking a couple of chicken thighs in a big frying pan. I had a baked pork chop left over from a couple of days ago, along with the fat that chop and two others had been cooked in. I melted the fat, plus a little fresh butter, and cooked the chicken pieces in it. Just butter would probably have been just as good, or olive oil...
Meanwhile, I got a small saucepan of salted water up to the boil. I put in the 24 radishes and waited for them to cook. It didn't take long — maybe 5 minutes. They turned a nice pink color, and the cooking water turned pink. I tested a radish with a metal skewer and it was obviously cooked through.
Ah, and I diced up the leftover pork chop and added that to the pan with the chicken. I got rid of the bones, and I added about ¼ cup of dry white wine to the pan. I covered it and let the diced pork and the chicken thighs steam through. I also added in a couple of stalks of fresh parsley.
Then I took the radishes out of their cooking water with a slotted spoon and put them in the pan with the chicken, pork, and cooking liquid. I put the radish greens, which I had de-stemmed and washed again, into the boiling water to cook down and tenderize.
After about five more minutes, I had radishes cooked in the juice and fat of the chicken and pork — not to mention the butter, white wine, and parsley. And the radish leaves were cooked too.
The radishes were soft but not flabby or mushy. The chicken and pork were tender and succulent. The jus from the meat was thick and glossy. The radish greens had the texture of cooked spinach, but the flavor was milder. I seasoned them with the meat jus too.
I say, try cooked radishes now while they are in season and not expensive. Or grow your own radishes. They are excellent raw or cooked, as we have just realized.