The minute I get my hands on the first radishes of spring, I'm off to enjoy them sliced with lots of butter and judicious pinches of flaky sea salt. As the season continues and the bounty begins to pile up, I start looking beyond raw preparations and sauté or roast my radishes instead. Radishes cook up beautifully; their affinity for butter and sea salt is just as apparent in the skillet. Sautéing mellows their pungency and renders the once-crisp flesh tender, the golden edges tasting of smoke.
This spring hash recipe brings together spring radishes and turnips. Both are boiled briefly and then sautéed in a cast iron skillet along with green garlic, eggs, and parsley. The recipe offers a change from a more conventional breakfast skillet, and although the ingredients might be somewhat unexpected, the results are hearty enough to rival hash browns.
This recipe uses green garlic, which resembles leeks but with slight swelling at the root end and is available briefly in the spring. Later in the season, you can substitute garlic scapes, the flowering tops of garlic plants. Young onions or ramps also work as a substitute, although you'll want to cook these a bit longer. Spring alliums are more delicately flavored than their mature counterparts, and lend a mild bite and herbaceousness to a variety of dishes.
Although I've used storage turnips here, unpeeled salad turnips (also known as baby turnips or hakurei turnips) can be used instead. For young turnips, boil just as you would the radishes — about 60 seconds.
Radish and Turnip Hash with Green Garlic and Fried Eggs
2 to 3
small turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
4 to 5
small radishes, scrubbed and trimmed, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
grapeseed oil, or other neutral, heat-tolerant oil
green garlic, trimmed and chopped (white and light green parts only)
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt. Boil turnip cubes just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon, pour off any excess water, and set aside. Next, boil radishes briefly, 30 to 60 seconds; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon, pour off any excess water, and set aside.
Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add grapeseed oil and when hot, add turnips and radishes, and a pinch each sea salt and pepper. Turning vegetables only once or twice, cook 8 minutes or until golden-brown. Turn heat to medium and fold in green garlic, cooking for about a minute. Push vegetables to the sides, melt butter in the center of pan, and add the eggs, salting each individually. For over-easy eggs, cook uncovered 4 to 6 minutes; for over-medium eggs, cover pan for 3 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking just until whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Finish with minced parsley and sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.