I'm glad you all wanted to come to our restaurant Raphanus!! Today's the day that I get to share my radish appetizer with you, and boy am I excited. Why am I so excited? Well, I actually fell for the root vegetable I had for so long considered verboten. Roasted with vanilla, I'll happily eat a whole bunch!
I utilized radishes in all their glory with this appetizer; slicing some, cutting others into wedges, even transforming the leaves into a pesto! Hints of citrus and vanilla are found in the dish, and they really elevated the flavors. You'll see them in Evelyne and Faith's creations as well. Without further ado...
Vanilla Roasted Radishes over Crispy Polenta Rounds w/Radish Leaf Pesto & Crispy Radish!
|A composed plate, celebrating the radish|
While it may seem like a complicated dish, you could also view it as getting four recipes for the price of one ;) Each of these components could stand on their own-- the pesto tossed with some pasta, crispy radish chips as a snack, vanilla roasted radishes next to any main dish and crispy polenta rounds with your favorite topper. Possibilities abound!
Crispy Polenta Rounds
adapted from Orangette
1c almond milk (or more water)
1t kosher salt
1/2c finely grated parmesan
Bring water and almond milk to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in polenta, reduce heat and cook on low, whisking frequently. Cook for 30min-1hr, until polenta is thick but still fluid. Add salt, butter and parmesan and whisk well to combine. Spread out, 1" thick, into two 9x9 pans. Cool, then refrigerate until firm.
When ready to assemble appetizer, cut wedges out of polenta (I used a round cookie cutter). Heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite nonstick one) over medium heat. Cook each of the polenta wedges a few minutes on each side, until they start to brown and get a little crispy.
To serve, top polenta rounds with vanilla roasted radishes and serve alongside radish leaf pesto and crispy radish chips, see below.
Vanilla Roasted Radishes
1 bunch radishes
1/2T extra virgin olive oil
1/2T butter, melted
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400deg.
Remove radishes from stems, saving the leaves for the pesto. Cut them into wedges; for larger radishes I cut them into sixths, but smaller ones I kept in quarters. Toss them with olive oil, melted butter, sugar, seeds from the vanilla bean and a sprinkle of salt. Spread out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30min, until they are beginning to caramelize around the edges. Remove and set aside until ready to top the crispy polenta.
Radish Leaf Pesto
1c packed radish leaves (from 2 bunches)
zest of 1 small lemon
1-2 garlic cloves
~1/4c finely grated parmesan
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
Wash the radish leaves and then add them to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients except olive oil and pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in enough olive oil to reach your desired consistency. I left mine a little chunky and served it along side my crispy polenta topped with vanilla roasted radishes.
adapted from Simple Comfort Food
1 bunch of radishes
1/4t garlic powder
1/2t smoked paprika
generous pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1T extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350deg.
Remove radishes from their stems, keeping the leaves for the pesto. Slice radishes as thin as you can get them, 1/4" or less. Add them to a bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 40sec. Drain and then add spices (garlic powder through pepper). Starting by adding ~1/2T olive oil, then toss well to coat. Add more olive oil if you need to, you just don't want them too wet.
Spread radish slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (a pizza stone also works). Bake for 15min, then lower the oven to 225deg. Flip the radish slices over and bake another 20min or more, until they are dried out and crisp. Remove from the oven and serve alongside roasted radish-topped polenta and radish leaf pesto.
Don't forget to check out dinner and dessert over at Cheap Ethnic Eatz and An Edible Mosaic!