Did you know that when you roast radishes their flavor gets a bit milder but richer? You’ve got to try it! Learn everything you know to start roasting radishes below!
There are many people who would rather try eating a bowling ball than crunch through a radish with its strong wasabi-like flavor. I’m not one of those people, but I do get it.
Here’s the thing:
Radishes can be softer and milder, even converting those bowling-ball-eaters out there. How so? You cook them!
When you cook a radish, even for just a short time, it becomes a bit softer and a bit milder. Imagine a par-cooked potato with a hint of fresh coleslaw and green onion. Good, right?
If you cook radishes for longer (and you can, though I usually don’t) they get even softer and milder still. As far as I can tell, even radish-haters like radishes (or don’t realize that they’re eating radishes) when they eat one that is cooked like this. The reason is partly due to the milder flavor, but also because their color fades with cooking.
This losing of the radishes distinctive bright color is a sad thing, perhaps. But if it gets more people eating radishes, I don’t mind.
How To Roast Radishes:
If you’re aiming for the just-slightly-cooked radishes (these are the best), roast them like this: Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Trim the ends off of the radishes and cut any big ones in half. Toss the radishes with some melted butter or oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them for about 10-15 minutes. You want a fork to still have a bit of trouble getting through. You’re not aiming for a fully cooked potato texture here. More like a fork pushing into an apple – a bit of pressure required, but not too much.
When they’re done, take them out of the oven, toss them around the pan again and transfer them to a serving plate. Add a good sprinkling of salt. Why add more salt? See below.
If you’re aiming for the fully mild totally and soft radishes, roast them like this: Trim the ends off of the radishes and cut any big ones in half. Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Toss the radishes with some melted butter or oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them for about 20-25 minutes, giving them a quick stir about halfway through. Test if they’re done using a fork. You want the fork to go through the radish as easily as it would go into a cooked carrot.
When they’re done, take them out of the oven, toss them around the pan again, and transfer them to a serving plate. Add a good sprinkling of salt.
Why add salt at the end? The radishes are still a bit bitter even after cooking. Salt counteracts a bit of that bitterness.
What To Add To Roasted Radishes
I really love roasting my radishes in butter with just salt and pepper. However, sometimes I want something a bit more exciting. I find that fresh dill and cooked radishes go together really really well. I therefore often add fresh dill after roasting them. Another great addition is some defrosted and warmed up frozen peas. Both peas and dill also work great!
For the picture in this article, what I did was to roast the radishes as instructed in the recipe below for the shorter amount of time. Then I added 1 cup of defrosted and microwaved frozen peas and 2 tablespoons of chopped dill. I served lemon wedges on the side to squeeze a bit of lemon ever everything right before eating. It’s a really vibrant and delicious dish.
The short roasting time for the radishes leaves them with a little crunch but mellows out their flavor so they’re not quite as spicy.
- 1 lb. radishes, washed and trimmed of both ends (larger ones cut in half)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more for serving
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- In a medium baking pan, stir together the radishes, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Put the pan into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Use a fork to test if the radishes are done to your liking. For mild-flavored radishes with some crunch to their texture, the fork should feel like it’s going into an apple. If it’s not there yet, roast for another 5-7 minutes. For even milder-flavored radishes with a softer texture, roast until the fork feels like it’s going into a cooked potato. If it’s not there yet, stir and then roast for another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven. Stir in a big pinch of salt, or to taste. Transfer to a serving plate.
This post first appeared in May, 2013 and was revised and republished in March, 2020.