Monday, June 7, 2010

Mixed Plate: Radishes and Gettin' My Root Down

You may have seen the latest report on Wasabi Gardenwatch 2010, with the epic harvest of radishes I'm getting. Well, more like a handful here and there, so I still picked up a little bouquet of purple radishes when I was at the Bellevue Farmers Market, along with a couple of leeks. I've developed a fascination with radishes lately, mostly because they're growing in our garden and I'm trying to find different ways to use them beyond the obvious salad. Especially since the totally cracked-out weather we've been having is forcing a lot of my rooty veggies to bolt and turn into just greens and no roots. Umbrage! As the Beastie Boys would say, I wanna get my root down, yo.

Roasted radish and leek frittata - the cure for all troubles and lack of meal ideas - Photo by Wasabi Prime

When in doubt, make a frittata. I think that could be the title of my cookbook, if I were ever to write a cookbook. Book publishers out there, if you're listening, this would be a great recipe book for the kitchen-challenged. Refrigerator crisper drawer full of random crap on the stage of wilting into a dirty, brown sludge? Make a frittata. Or the opposite -- bare fridge save for a few eggs and maybe some random sticks of string cheese? Make a frittata. It's the perfect answer for everything. Socio-economic troubles amongst the nations? Meteor hurtling towards the planet? Make a frittata. It's better than what the Magic 8 Ball would say, that's for sure.

But back to my umbrage with my radishes bolting. Can you not tell I'm unhealthily fixated on this? So the crazy weather that's been happening, which includes ten minutes of sun, then ten minutes of rain, is clearly giving my vegetable garden a case of the Whatchoo Talkin' Bout Willis?! We're beyond winter's frost, which is good, but we're on that weird cusp of chilly spring and somewhat warm early summer. I put in radishes early and was able to get a few nice ones, but lately I've been using them more for greens -- which are totally edible, even if they're a bit fuzzy and pokey. Again, the cure for the world's problems come in and I chop up the greens and cook them down in a frittata.

Roasted radishes - crazy? Possibly.  - Photo by Wasabi Prime

I wanted to see how the radishes would do being roasted down, wondering if they would develop sweetness or anything interesting. I cleaned and halved the radishes, tossed with melted butter and salt, and put them into the oven, along with two split leeks to get roasty-toasty. They looked great when added to the final cook-off stage of the frittata when I let the broiler add a final bit of char to the top. As for taste, it was very subtle, even with the roasting which I know is supposed to heighten flavor. Brock mentioned it was more about texture than anything else, but they do well with the eggs, since both the greens and the radishes themselves provide an overall peppery flavor.

In general, I'm looking forward to a dual effort on the part of whatever our garden does produce this year, as well as being more of an active participant in shopping our local farmers markets. We've done CSAs in the past, and while they were great ways to get one's greens every week, I always felt this crazy pressure on delivery days, a little afraid over what was in the box (random obscure Dune moment: what's in the box? Answer: pain!). I always felt this pressure to use every little bit, which for the most part, we were successful, but due largely to the power of frittata-making. And meatloaf-making. There were many a green or purple-colored meatloaf, heavily doped with chopped greens or an excess of red cabbage.

Farmers market goodies -- all good with eggs! - Photos by Wasabi Prime

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1 comment:

  1. All of a sudden, I've eating more radishes this year than I have i my entire life. I've never seen roasted radishes before, is it so crazy? Maybe, but who am I to blow against the wind?


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