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Grilled Radishes with Dates, Apples, and Radish Tops

“When you cook a radish, it loses much of its spicy heat and becomes quite friendly. The cooked radishes also develop a texture similar to the apples in this dish. Some grated extra-sharp cheddar would also be nice in this dish.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, p. 115

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes (with their tops if they're fresh)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • dried chile flakes
  • red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 oz pitted dates, cut into small bits
  • 1 apple, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped (toasted is great)

Instructions

  1. If you’re using the greens, cut them from the bunch of radishes and wash well in cool water, as you would salad greens. Dry in salad spinner or let air dry a few minutes.

  2. Heat a slick of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and when it’s hot, add the greens. Toss with tongs until the greens are slightly wilted. Season with salt, black pepper, and a few chile flakes and cook for another few seconds, until the greens are tender.

  3. When the greens are cool enough to handle (but still warm), roughly chop them, then pile them into a bowl. Douse with a couple teaspoons of vinegar and toss to blend. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, chile flakes, and vinegar. When the flavors are bright and balanced, toss with a small glug of olive oil. Set aside. 

  4. Prepare a charcoal grill if you can, heat a gas grill to high, or heat the oven to 450°F.

  5. Scrub the radishes. Grill or roast the whole radishes—with no oil—until they are slightly soft when you squeeze them, 12-15 minutes depending on their size (slightly longer if you’re roasting them). Turn them a few times during grilling. Let the radishes cool, then cut them in half.

  6. Toss the halved radishes in a large bowl with the dates, apple, onion, marinated radish tops, and parsley. Add ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tsp salt, lots of twists of pepper, and ½ teaspoon chile flakes and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add ¼ cup olive oil and the almonds, toss again, taste again, and make any final adjustments to the seasoning.