Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables; their peppery bite and heated pink color make them one of the best things at the early summer farmers market. But they are so underutilized; they're the last thing to go on the veggie platter, or dutifully chopped into salads.
But radishes are capable of so much more! When we picked out recipes for our radish mini series this week, we looked for dishes that showed a different dimension to the cutest root. This fabulous pasta from Rozanne Gold is a perfect demonstration, and it only has five ingredients.
Cooking the radishes mellows them a bit; add a bit of bacon and suddenly their bitterness is balanced beautifully. Toss with pasta and the radish greens and presto — it's a bit of magic, thanks to radishes.
This is a fun play on Cacio e Pepe, the peppery, cheesy, comforting pasta dish. The radishes add some vibrant color and a little bit of a spicy bite, and it's always great when you can use both the radishes and the greens together in one dish.
Cut the French breakfast radishes, also called icicle radishes, lengthwise for ease of cutting and a more substantial bite. This dish can also easily stretch to 8 ounces of pasta, though I'd definitely recommend adding some pasta water to the pan when you assemble the final dish to keep the dish from becoming dry.
- Christine, June 2015
Rozanne Gold's Perciatelli with French Breakfast Radishes, Bacon & Greens
dried perciatelli, bucatini, or spaghetti
Several large bunches large French breakfast radishes, greens included
freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta 12 minutes, until just tender. Separate the radishes from the greens and slice enough radishes 1/8-inch thick to yield 1 cup. Measure out 3 cups of packed radish greens and coarsely chop. Cut the bacon into 1/3-inch strips. Cook in a very large sauté pan over high heat for 3 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is soft, not crispy. Add the oil, chopped radish leaves, and sliced radishes. Cook over high heat until the greens wilt and the radishes soften, 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta; add to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Toss with half the cheese, lots of coarsely cracked black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
From RADICALLY SIMPLE by Roxanne Gold. Copyright © 2010 by Roxanne Gold. By arrangement with Rodale, Inc.
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