Food + Wine

Roasting Radishes and learning lessons

I have always taken my kids to the store with me when I can.  Then they cook with me whatever it is that we bought.  From a very early age my children have witnessed the metamorphosis of their meals.  I feel like it’s helped me raise good eaters, or at the very least, smart ones.

When we’re there, we play the ‘pick whatever you want to eat from the produce department and mommy will cook it’ game.  We have pretty much eaten our way through that department.  And as a family, we like most foods.  Some of us are easier eaters than others, but we’re all good about liking most things.  I for one pride myself in liking almost every food.  I have a very welcoming palate.  But there are some things I just don’t have a use for…

Today I had my littlest one with me- my 4 year old daughter.  And after a rainy holiday of being cooped up in the house, entertaining out of town guests and doing a lot of lounging around, she was very excited to get out of the house and go somewhere with mommy.  Once we entered the produce department, she started helping me bag the things we were taking home, excitedly picking out the best bananas and finding the perfect avocado, and out of nowhere she says,

‘Mommy!  I want radishes!’.

Heh?

Of all the things in that store, she decided radishes were the thing.

I have never heard her say the word radish.  She’s never eaten a radish.  I’ve never owned a radish.

Radishes are one of the very very few vegetables (if not the only one) that I truly do not care about.  I don’t understand their appeal, and have perhaps eaten 1 whole radish in my lifetime if you count all the bites I’ve taken throughout the years.  They’re just not my thing.

But I will never tell my kids no to something they want to try.  Never.  I will never give them a pre-taste opinion on something they’ve never had before.

So, radishes it was.

And I set out to work through my personal issues with the radish.  I wanted to understand what they were capable of.  So, I decided to roast them.  Why not?  They’re a root vegetable, and I have never met a vegetable (root veggies mainly) that wasn’t awesome roasted.

And guess what?  They’re pretty darn tasty.  Who knew!? Cooking the radish mellows it out… you lose the wasabi-like bite they have raw and are left with a slightly sweet and buttery vegetable… not unlike a baby potato.  They even look like baby potatoes after you roast them!

We all loved our roasted radishes and I will be making them again for sure.  The delight on my daughter’s face when she got to eat (and love) the thing that she picked out for dinner was priceless.  And it’s always one of my favorite things.

So my baby girl ended up teaching me something in that grocery store today.  She taught me to never give up on something until you’ve allowed it to show you everything it can do.  And that’s something we all can learn.  Sometimes we look at something or someone in only one way, leading us to make unfair assumptions about their entirety.  We develop an opinion, then that opinion sticks like glue.  Until a hopeful 4 year old comes in and forces us to flip it around a bit and view it from another angle.

Never stop learning.  Never stop allowing yourself to be surprised by something.  Or someone.  Our kids can teach us so many wonderful things if we just slow down and listen to them.  And most of the time they seem to know just the right lesson we need to learn.

They’re amazing little creatures.

And as it turns out, so are radishes.

ROASTED RADISHES

Preheat your oven to 425.

Thoroughly rinse your radishes.  I had two bunches, which ended up being enough for about 2 adult sized portions.

Trim off the stems and leaves.  Slice them into similar sized pieces- the larger ones into fourths and the smaller ones in half.

Place on an oiled baking sheet.  Coat with more oil.  Season with a generous amount of kosher salt and a few pinches of sugar.

Roast for 45-50 minutes, or until they become brown and shriveled a bit… resembling a baby red skin potato.

Serve warm.

Thanks for reading, ya’ll.  XOXO

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