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Unlock a more delicate flavor with sautéed radish
Trust me, this tastes better than it *might* sound when you first read the name. I know, radishes are for salads (and chips, for the super healthy folks reading this), but sautéeing them is a fun twist on an otherwise-pigeon-holed vegetable. And, who doesn't love the red pop of color this adds to any dish? Hey there, cuties. Sautéed radish gives it a neat pop of flavor and throwing their greens in their as well makes it a little extra special. As with any pasta dish, it is easily customizable. I tossed in some frozen green peas (along with a handful of other spices) and this turned out to be simple, fresh, and healthy.
Sliced radishes: Grab radishes from the store that still have their greens attached, so you can use the entire vegetable and harness the full nutritional benefit radishes have to offer. However, you are welcome to substitute with other greens, if desired. I encourage you to give radish greens a try, though, since they offer a delicate peppery flavor. Don't forget to wash the radishes and their greens thoroughly before sautéing.
Frozen green peas: Easy and affordable, I love incorporating frozen green peas. You add these at the end of cooking to prevent them from becoming mushy.
Chickpea pasta: WE LOVE CHICKPEA PASTA. Really, we enjoy any pasta made from delicious legumes. Best part? This makes the sautéed radish pasta dish a gluten-free option. Use an 8-9 oz. box for the best ratio of pasta to the remaining ingredients.
Cheese and Aromatics
Finely-grated Parmesan cheese: You don't need to buy the most expensive block of Parmesan cheese from your store, but understand that quality will make the dish taste even better. The cheese pairs so nicely with the peppery flavor of the radishes as well as the aromatics from the herbs. You are welcome to try a different cheese, or another source of umami flavor if you are vegan and avoid cheese altogether.
Garlic cloves: Every good dish includes garlic, right? I'm the girl who has a habit of tossing in a few extra cloves in practically every recipe. Keep in mind that we have hearty ingredients, which need to be complimented with additional aromatics. Start with garlic and four cloves are ideal...unless you want more.
Parsley: One of the most popular herbs in European cooking (we could probably argue elsewhere as well). Either flat or curly-leaf varieties work well in this dish. Since you chop the parsley, the woody and distinctive flavor fades, allowing more delicate, fruity notes to become dominant.
Scallions: Add both the greens and whites, eliminating any pieces that don't look fresh. You know, those edge pieces that start wilting before the rest of the scallion.
Dried onion: Adds a "warmer" and more complex depth of flavor to the dish.
Extra virgin olive oil: This is the fat we use to sauté the vegetables and unlock the power of the garlic when you start the sautéed radish dish.
Garlic powder: I told you I loved garlic. The powder offers a more concentrated flavor that helps the cloves sautéed at the beginning.
Kosher salt: The kosher salt (finer grain) will distribute more evenly throughout the pasta dish. You are still welcome to sprinkle the top of the dish with coarse sea salt when plating, just before serving.
Freshly-ground black pepper: When you use freshly-ground pepper, you get a slightly more spicy end result. If you only have pre-ground black pepper on hand, that is completely fine to use as well.
Cook or peel radishes to decrease their bitterness. These small, red radishes are really young in the "radish world," only taking a few weeks to grow before getting "woody." If you peel a radish, the peppery flavor is diminished and cooking both decreases the bitterness while increasing the sweetness.
Add your own creative touch
- We use chickpea pasta when we can, just for the benefits that can be gained from the legume. You are welcome to use whatever type of pasta you enjoy!
- Unless you prefer a very onion-forward dish, I would go easy on the scallions and dried onion. Unpeeled radish flavor is still a bit peppery, so too many onions will create a very potent flavor profile.
- The cheese does not HAVE to be Parmesan - I think this would be delicious with feta cheese, too!
- Try a different herb that is fairly delicate in flavor.
- When chopping the radishes, be careful using a sharp knife. As with any circular item on the chopping block, shave off a little from the side, turn the shaved side down (to touch the cutting board), and slice with a little more control.
- Greens are going to cook down, so you can be more liberal with the radish greens - or use spinach or kale instead.
Did you notice the intentionally-placed knife in the first picture? I was excited to be gifted a set of knives from the Japanese knife company, Kamikoto. Long story, short - LOVE them. Stay tuned to my social media and future blog posts for more!
Sautéed Radish and Green Pea Pasta
- 2 cups sliced radishes
- 1½ cups frozen green peas
- ¾ to 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely-grated
- 1 package (8.8 ounces) chickpea pasta
- ½ cup radish greens optional
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup fresh parsely, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped (greens and whites)
- 1½ tablespoon dried onion
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and minced garlic until the garlic bits start to turn a light brown.
- While the olive oil and garlic is cooking, cook chickpea pasta in a separate pot, according to instructions on box. Slightly undercook the noodles since they will continue to cook when added to the skillet.
- Add radish slices to the skillet and cook until the center whites start to become translucent.
- Drain chickpea pasta (reserve some of the water) and transfer noodles to skillet. Then, add peas, radish greens, parsley, garlic powder, dried onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the peas are warm and no longer frozen.
- As part of the final steps, add chopped scallions and ½ the grated Parmesan cheese. If the dish has lost too much water, add some of the reserved cooking water or a few additional teaspoons of olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Once plated, divide the rest of the Parmesan cheese on the dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do sautéed radishes taste like?
If you are most familiar with radishes gracing the tops of salads, you might be wondering what sautéed radishes taste like. When sautéed, radishes loose their stereotypical pungency when cooked, as well as when they are peeled. The cooking process essentially deactivates the flavor enzyme that is found within the skins of the root. The final product is a slightly more sweet radish that maintains notes of earthy flavors, like most vegetables. Traditional radishes (those small spring varieties that are commonly used in salads) will carry a peppery flavor similar to mustard oil when eaten raw, and grow a little more sweet when cooked. Their texture will also soften, making them more pliable than a water chestnut and harder than a cooked potato...depending upon how long you cook them. Don't be mistaken, though. These will never be as sweet as cinnamon rolls!
Can you use any type of radish?
Yes! As you can see from the images, I used the type of radish that is most common in the United States - small and young. If using a more hearty variety (Spanish, German), they might require a longer cooking time. The daikon radish, which is characteristically long and slender should require a cooking time that is similar to the radishes used in this recipe.
How can I make this dish vegan-friendly?
Omit the cheese completely, or use a vegan Parmesan cheese. You might need to use a powdered form of vegan cheese, as opposed to the shredded consistency of traditional Parmesan. Consider adding nutritional yeast flakes, if familiar with those flavors.
How do you store this dish?
Given the freshness of the flavors - and how central they are to the dish - I suggest making this the day you plan to serve it. However, it does reheat well and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days for best results.
Pair this with...
I hope you enjoy this easy pasta dish and feel a little healthier for packing your meal full of veggies! Top of this light meal with a light dessert - summer berry shortcake made with avocado oil biscuits and coconut milk whipped cream. YUM. Until next time, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!