Friday, January 28, 2011

Last Remnants of the Garden


Last week I pulled up the last bits of my winter garden to prepare for cover crop planting. Incredibly I found a treasure trove of radishes that had flourished through the cold. Some were HUGE!

It was a true garden mystery though because I had thought, according to my little garden chart, that these were turnips the entire season. I am still baffled, even though I know it must have just been my mistake.

So what does one do with pounds and pounds of radishes? I will offer some suggestions.

Now that's a lot of radishes
My whole life, I never thought of cooking radishes. To me, they were simply a delicious snack to eat raw, perhaps in a salad. Then one day I roasted a radish (just tossed whole in olive oil, salt and pepper; cooking a 400 degree oven until fork tender), and my world changed. It started when I purchased a "Turbo radish" at the farmer's market - which is I tell you a strange beast. The woman who grew it suggested roasting. In my opinion, regular radishes are less bitter when roasted, but these crazy black radishes are worth a try.


Anyways, the point is, cooked radishes are delish. And one day in the shower I imagined how yummy caramelized radishes would be, ala caramelized onions. I had purchased some farro the week prior at the local co-op, so I planned a caramelized radish and farro dish. Farro is a pretty cool grain with a unique light crunch about it.

1. Prepare the farro according to package directions. Use stock if you want more flavor.
2. Carmelize slices of radish, half a red onion or a few boiler onions, and garlic in olive oil at medium-low heat with a little salt and pepper and maybe a touch of brown sugar. Feel free to add any vegetables you have on hand and season to your pleasure. This is very much a "contents of your fridge" kind of meal.
3. Stir together and serve. 


 
Has anyone ever caramelized radishes or other vegetables besides onions before? I am very interested in perfecting this sweetening art.

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