When my Big Kid was in pre-k we were shopping at the market and he spotted a bunch of radishes. “Mommy! Mommy! Those are radishes. Can we get some? Pleeeeaaase?” After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I asked him to toss a bunch into his tiny cart and then raced for the checkout. If the Pickiest Eater Ever was clamoring for radishes I was going to get them home and into his mouth ASAP because, well…I’m not stupid. I knew this radish crush wouldn’t last. My momtuition was promptly validated just a few short days later when I attempted to serve him raw radishes with his lunch and he fake gagged on them. Love affair over! It was short, but sweet while it lasted.
But moms are funny creatures, especially when they are attempting to get their tiny humans to consume a vegetable. We persist. So I did what any good mom would do – I attempted to feed my child radishes by stealth. I put them into his morning smoothie (he noticed). I sliced them thinly and tucked them in-between apple slices (he noticed). But then I roasted them with baby potatoes and a healthy drizzle of butter and salt. And he ate them. I watched triumphantly as he consumed at least two roasted radishes scattered among the potatoes before declaring himself full and scurrying away from the dinner table. Victory was mine!
Alas, a few weeks later he fake-puked them into his dinner plate. You win some, you lose more. But I walked away from this experiment with a new method for cooking up these beauties, so I’ll call that a win. Roasted radishes and I have been BFFs ever since.
Raw radishes are best known for their delightful crunch and spicy kick. But toss these babies in a hot oven, and roasted radishes become sweet, tender, and juicy. And the color! Unlike most vegetables, roasted radishes only get more vibrant after a trip through a hot oven. Gorgeous and tasty? Sign me up.
Farro Salad with roasted radishes Recipe Notes
Roasted radishes are terrific on their own with a drizzle of melted butter, a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Toss ’em in some mint if you’re feeling fancy. But they are truly satisfying in a warm grain salad, especially one slathered with minty salsa verde.
I chose arugula as my salad base because I love how it complements the sweet notes in the roasted radishes. Feel free to use any hearty green of your choosing – mature spinach for a milder taste, shredded kale or swiss chard. I’d shy away from baby lettuces because they won’t stand up to the warm farro and piping hot radishes as well as greens with a bit more structure do.
You can customize this recipe to almost any dietary need like so:
Make it vegan: substitute butter for olive or avocado oil
Make it paleo/Whole30: omit farro, sub cauliflower rice
Make it dairy-lovin’: add crumbled blue cheese
Make it omnivorous: add thinly sliced steak
Farro Salad with Roasted Radishes and Mint Salsa Verde
Farro Salad with Roasted Radishes
- 1 c. farro rinsed under cool water
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 2 bunches of radishes leaves trimmed and halved
- 4 c. hardy greens such as arugula, mature spinach, kale, or chard
- 1 english cucumber diced
- 1 avocado diced
- sea salt to taste
Mint Salsa Verde
- 1/2 c. packed mint minced, plus extra mint leaves for garnish
- 1/2 c. packed parsley minced
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove smashed and minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, measure and rinse the farro until cool water. Once the water boils, add the rinsed farro and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer until the water is absorbed and the farro is tender, 20-25 minutes.
Scrub the radishes under cold water; trim the leaves and root ends, then slice in half. Toss the radishes with melted butter and spread over a baking sheet lined with foil cut-side down. Roast in the oven until the cut-side is browned, the skin side is dimpled, and a knife tip easily pierces the skin, 15-20 minutes (depending on size of radishes).
While the farro and radishes are cooking, prepare the remainder of your salad and the mint salsa verde. Wash, rinse and cut your greens, and dice the cucumber and avocado.
Mince the mint, parsley and garlic. Combine the mint, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper and stir.
Once the radishes are roasted, remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
Compose the salad. Toss the greens with the warm farro, cucumber and salsa verde until incorporated. Top with diced avocado and roasted radishes and sprinkle a few extra mint leaves on top. Serve immediately. Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side dish.