Saturday, November 7, 2009

Farm Fresh Radishes

There is nothing I love more than spending a morning walking around a farmers market: talking with vendors, learning about the produce, and experiencing the passion for food that seems to be otherwise lost somewhere between the field and superstore shelves... the atmosphere of farmers markets has a magical way of making everything taste better.

I frequent farmers markets all throughout the summer. I love to see the progression of produce from springtime asparagus to fresh summer fruits. However, only recently have I realized that the bounty of farmers markets does not end at Labor Day!

Fall is actually my preferred season for farmers markets. Many people are don't realize that many markets continue well into the fall. While I love to share the word about good food, in this case I am somewhat greedy... it just means fewer crowds! Without as many people to battle for the best produce, I am sure to get great selection. Even better, the farmers are able to devote more attention to each customer and often love to chat about the growing process. Let me tell you, I know a whole heck of a lot about the trials and tribulations of raising squash!

Small crowds, crisp air, and choice selection... makings of a great weekend morning.

This past week, blessed with moderate temperatures and sunshine, I headed down to the second-to-last market of the season. I didn't know what I would find, but I figured I would just let the ingredients lead the way!

Looping around the market, I quickly picked up some freshly canned apple butter and local honey, but continued to search for some eye-catching fresh produce. As expected, there was some great squash, but I still had some at home that I needed to get though. I engaged some strong will-power and pulled myself away from the butternut squash to examine my other options.

I came upon some radishes at a stand.

"Hmm..." I thought. "Radishes? What am I supposed to do with those?"

And with that thought I was sold. I love being led by the ingredient, and it is so easy with great resources like food blog search. So, without knowing exactly what I would come up with, but confident it would be good, I got a bunch of radishes.

At home, all it took was a quick search to led me to an easy sauteed radish recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen. OK, not exactly pushing the limits, but I love to let the simple and pure flavors of an ingredient shine, especially when it is something relatively new to me.

Sauteed Radishes with Vinegar and Herbs...
letting simple ingredients shine

  • 1 bunch red radishes, ends chopped off and halved/quartered (depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat olive oil in medium pan. Add radishes and vinegar. Saute, stirring often, until radishes start to brown and blister, approximately 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss with parsley and serve.
Note: Any light colored vinegar can be substituted for Balsamic vinegar. Cilantro or chives can be used in place of parsley. Explore you palate!

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