Thursday, August 30, 2012
Roasted Radishes with Vanilla Salt and Basil
Donuts are red, donuts are blue. I like donuts. How about you. These were the lines uttered over and over and over and over again by my sister on the way home from the city one day. For 2 1/2 hours. My mom did indeed get us some donuts to placate her. I have no idea why I thought about that right now, perhaps beause radishes are so vibrantly red, and that red color is such an important part of it. Radishes are red, the basil is, well, I hope it's not blue... I like radishes, how about you? And while I adore radishes... I now really want a donut.
And on that note, here we have another dish this week where radishes pop up. I guess in this case it is more than "popping up," it is the raison d'etre. And vanilla salt as well! I sometimes fear that the radish is a lonely vegetable. Oftentimes, it is just sliced and then relegated to a platter of crudites to be half-heartedly and mindlessly dunked in ranch dressing or some ranch look-alike. Also, my gram had come into an abundance of radishes (I say it as though it is an inheritance), and was wondering what she could do with them. I have a serious soft spot for this vegetable, but radishes can only take so much exclusion from other ingredients, so much rawness, and so much ranch. Only so much boredom and ennui and unappreciation from the people who munch on it. Though this veggie is known for its bitterness, it has a vulnerable and sensitive soul. Once you char it in the oven, of course.
2 bunches radishes, halved
1/2 teaspoon vanilla salt*
1-2 tablespoons walnut oil
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 cup kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half
*For the Vanilla Salt: Place in an airtight container, and leave to mingle for a couple days before using.
For the basil orange mixture: Pulse in a food processor until blended.
Coat the radishes in walnut oil and vanilla salt. Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes, until they have some caramelization and have softened.
Coat the cooked radishes with the basil and orange mixture, then serve.