A member of the Brassicaceae Family, radishes were cultivated in pre-Roman times in Europe. Roasted radishes, flavored with garlic and rosemary, become an entirely different vegetable – you must try them! These root vegetables are composed of mostly water, more than 90%; however, they contain as much potassium as bananas and almost half the amount of ascorbic acid as oranges.
When raw, most radishes are assertive and peppery, often bringing tears to the eyes; when roasted, radishes transform, becoming delicate and sweet. Roasting seems to tame their inner "root vegetable beast" and bring out the best in them, especially when prepared in a manner similar to Italian roasted potatoes. Once roasted, radishes are reminiscent of mild turnips in flavor and their texture is wonderfully firm with crunch! They are delicious served with pork roast, pork chops, ribs, chicken, and lamb.
Roasting time is 30 to 35 minutes.
Radishes, choose an assortment
Extra-virgin olive oil
Whole garlic cloves
Fresh rosemary sprigs (whole or chopped leaves)
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400º F/200º C/Gas Mark 6. Select an oven-proof pan large enough to hold the radishes in one layer. Rinse the radishes under running cool water, drain, then trim the ends. Lengthwise, cut in half, quarters or sixths, depending on the size of each radish. Rinse again leaving a few drops of water coating each piece to help maintain moisture during roasting.
2. Roasting: In the pan, toss the radishes, garlic, and rosemary sprigs with olive oil. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and roast the radishes for 30 to 35 minutes. Halfway through the roasting time, toss the ingredients again and spread out in an even layer for uniform cooking. When finished roasting, the radishes can be pierced with a fork yet they retain some firmness. Remove from the oven, remove the rosemary sprigs because they will look brittle and brown, and substitute fresh rosemary sprigs, as shown in the photo. Season to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.