Monday, May 28, 2012

Radish App

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

3c water
1c almond milk (or more water)
1c polenta
1t kosher salt
2T butter
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
1/4t sugar
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
.75oz almonds
~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.

Radish Chips
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!


Elizabeth said...

Your dish looks amazing! I'd be all over that. The dessert looks cool too

Faith said...

I love how this challenge made a radish lover out of you! Your dish looks fantastic, I love all the different textures and the fact that you used radish in so many ways. I had a great time working with you on the challenge!

vanillasugarblog said...

at first I thought this was an app for your smart phone! LOL!
very creative ms shan!

Lori Lynn said...

Radish and vanilla make a beautiful couple.
Your dish sounds like the perfect start to the meal. Love the colors and textures on your plate.
YAY for restaurant wars!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Lovely creation. Great idea for the radish. Great presentation as well.

Congrats to you and your team for a job well done.

Victoria said...

Great starter for this spring menu! Beautiful and colorful presentation. I'm loving all the texture as well, from the crispy radish chips to the soft polenta.

Joan Nova said...

Oh, we do have a creative group! I've never done anything with radish other than slicing them into a salad. I love what you did here, especially with the pesto and chips.

I'm off to check out the dessert.

Sacha said...

Radish, three ways. Impressive! Looks delicious.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

What an artistic creation, I love every aspect of it. You did a superb job with the appetizer. Really curious about the pesto. It wss a pleasure working with you!

Joanne said...

So maybe I will FINALLY learn to like radishes now...I'm so intrigued by this roasted radishes thing!

Candace said...

This looks so good! I have tried and tried to like radishes without success until recently. I was at a little hole in the wall taqueria and was served thinly sliced radishes with my tacos. I gave them a taste on the last taco to see if I could figure out why they would have put those on my plate. They were so good. I bought a bunch this weekend to have in the tacos that we made. I'm thinking that the rest of the bunch definitely needs to be roasted.

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I love radishes but never thought of roasting them. This lookms fantastic.

Kerstin said...

I think you should win just for picking radishes! I've never loved raw radishes, even though A is a huge fan, but the roasted ones were so good!

Unknown said...

I love radish and can't wait to try some of these variations! nomm

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living said...

What a celebration of the radish! I recently had sliced radishes with herbed butter on toasted baguette slices and fell head-over-heels. And here I thought I didn't like them!

Kristen said...

nicely done with the menu and on the plating. Radishes are so good!!

Anonymous said...

I really love that you used the radish in three different unique ways, none of which I have ever tried before. The combination of textures is excellent!

Katerina said...

Very elegant dish! I love your presentation. Radish is not an easy bulb. I, myself, only recently have I come to like asparagus. So good of you that you became a fan of radishes!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

These sound soooo good. I'd love to try making radish chips, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Tasty Trix said...

Fabulous presentation - so many ways to use the radish!!

Colleen @ Culinary Colleen said...

That is one beautiful dish. I have to admit, I had no idea how to use radishes other than raw in salads!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

What creative uses for radishes. They all look delicious. I love the vanilla ones, too - very unique.

Anonymous said...

what a delicious and interesting dish! it is gorgeous too! those colors!! i love radishes:) thanks for sharing!

Magic of Spice said...

What a lovely appetizer! I love that you utilized the radish greens for a pest...fantastic dish!

CJ - Food Stories said...

Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

Bridget said...

I just never think of radishes! I buy them once in a great while if they are looking particularly good and just slice on salads. I need to try some of these recipes!!

Jessica said...

Why did I never come up with radish leaf pesto before?!?! What a brilliant idea! Love it and it's so beautiful too.

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