Buttered Radish Salad with Herbs and Sorrel

Radishes are one of the quintessential spring veggies. They love the cold, they’re crunchy and crisp, have a bit of a bite coming off the chill of winter, and they are aaaaa-mazing with butter and salt on some bread (no, that’s not a spring characteristic, but really, is there a bad time for something with butter and salt on bread??). And they’re beautiful to boot.

The most popular is the traditional red variety, followed by Easter radishes. This is just a fancy term for a multi-colored blend. And breakfast radishes, an elongated version of the red radish. Then there are striking watermelon radishes: Bright green outside, and pink on the inside with a white layer in-between. Daikon radishes, which are mild and white and very big. Spicy black radishes. Lots of choices.

I found myself with a glut of radishes left over from a fermentation class, and also was in need of a side dish. This recipe is based on a published recipe, with a few minor tweaks. For instance, it incorporates my love of foraging. Which is a fancy way of saying, hey there’s a weed in my backyard and it happens to be edible! Hence, the wild sorrel in this recipe. Wild sorrel is abundant around Passover/Easter time. It’s got a lemony, almost bitter flavor, stronger after it has flowered.

 

Chives are also becoming active this time of year. They have a grassy, oniony taste. The flowers are edible too!

I chose to use a mix of radishes for this salad – sliced watermelon and quartered Easter and red radishes.

And butter. Butter makes everything better. Especially Kerrygold. If you don’t eat butter, sub for olive oil.

Given we typically see radishes raw on a salad, gently heating them might seem odd. But this step is important! It brings out their sweetness yet preserves their crisp firmness when bitten. The dish comes together with the anise notes from the fennel, the sweetness of the butter and radishes, and the vibrancy from the herbs.

Enjoy!

Buttered Radish Salad with Herbs and Sorrel
Adapted from Southern Living
Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 tsp fennel seeds
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, divided (or olive oil)
1 1/4 pounds assorted radishes, trimmed and quartered (about 4 cups)
1 garlic clove, finely grated (optional)
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
2 Tbsp wild sorrel, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions
1. Smash fennel seeds with the flat end of a knife, or lightly smash them in a mortar.
2. Melt about a third of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and garlic (if using) and decrease heat to medium-low. Stir while allowing to cook until you smell it.
3. Add the radishes and toss together. Lightly cook for several minutes just to heat, then remove from heat.
4. Add chopped herbs and remaining butter and mixed through. Season with salt and pepper, adjusting as needed. Serve immediately.



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