In the past week, the various lettuces have indeed provided many salads - I can practically feel all the vitamins and nutrients flowing through my veins! Radishes also popped up, and by "popped up" I mean they were pushing themselves right out of the ground.
I haven't come across many people who share my love of radishes, but I would like to put in a good word for them. Not only are they quick to mature in the garden, but also come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and can be eaten raw or cooked. I prefer the bright and cheerful French Breakfast radishes shown here, but I would love to try other heirloom varieties, too, like the "Watermelon" or even "Red Meat." I have tried growing a "Green Luobo" radish, but unfortunately without edible results...
If you are a non-believer when it comes to radishes, you might try cooking them. It brings out the sweetness and cuts the heat. I have read about the French tradition of dipping radishes in anchovy butter, so I thought I would start with that idea and cook my radishes with anchovies in a pan of browning butter. And what else goes well with brown butter? Well, sage and pasta, of course!
At first I was going to cook the radishes in anchovy butter and eat them as a side dish, but then mixed it all together to see what it was like. That was a good decision, I must say. I also had some leftover ricotta from the last post's ravioli, which added to the dish. Now, I am out of radishes and am disappointed I won't get to have this dish every night. Forever. At least those radishes are fast-growing!
ANCHOVY BUTTER RADISHES & SAGE PASTA
- 6-8 oz. fettuccine pasta
- 1 bunch radishes (about 8-10)
- 2 T. butter
- 1-2 anchovy fillets, or about 1 t. worth
- 4-5 leaves fresh sage
- ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)
- salt to season
Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and set aside. I used fresh pasta here, since I had dough ready and I have a pasta machine to make noodles at home. I'm planning on a special Friday post this week about making pasta at home.
Meanwhile, trim and halve or quarter radishes so they are bite-sized pieces. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to brown, turn the heat to low and the whole sage leaves to the pan. Let them fry until they are dark green and translucent throughout, a few seconds on each side. Remove the leaves from the butter and set aside.
Turn the heat back to medium and add the radishes. Cook until softened, tossing or stirring them frequently. Remove from heat until the pasta is cooked, if it's not done already. Add the pasta to the butter and radishes, toss, and heat through. Season with salt.
Divide among two dishes and top each serving with a dollop of ricotta and the fried sage leaves.
*I forgot the anchovies the second time I made this dish. If you're vegetarian, it is still good without the anchovies - but if you are not, remember to add them. They add really nice balance and complexity to the dish.