Because ramps aren't the only spring vegetable we care about.
While ramps might steal the spotlight each spring, radishes deserve some attention, too. The versatile root vegetable adds crunch to salads, soaks in flavor from a marinade when roasted, and the green tops can even be pureed into a fresh and zesty pesto.
We asked 11 chefs across the country about their favorite way to use radishes, and here’s what they had to say:
Haile Thomas, vegan chef and motivational speaker
“Pickling radishes are a go to move for me! When pickled, I find its peppery flavor really stands out. And the crunch is spectacular. I love adding pickled radishes to Asian Buddha Bowls and salads with either tahini or almond/peanut dressings.”
Try these spicy quick-pickled radishes.
Dale Talde, Chef/Owner, Talde, Massoni, Rice & Gold
“I love radish kimchi - crunchy, funky, and super satisfying.”
Sarah Grueneberg, Chef/Owner, Monteverde
“We have one dish that has been on the menu since before we even opened called Prosciutto Butter Toast. We make butter with prosciutto and spread it on a seeded rye toast and then top with radishes and lemon marmellata. While we serve this year-round, it’s even brighter in the spring with fresh radishes. I also like to shave them into any salad or dip them whole in our prosciutto butter.”
Kenny Gilbert, Chef/Owner, Gilbert’s Southern Kitchen & Bar, Gilbert’s Hot Chicken, Fish & Shrimp, Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, and Gilbert’s Social
Try this recipe for raw radishes, sliced and served with sour cream dressing.
Joanne Chang, Chef/Owner, Flour Bakery + Cafe
“I'm not a big raw radish fan but I adore them sautéed in a wok. They get caramelized and sweet and the slightly pepper bite of the radish adds a little bitterness that goes well with the char of a wok.”
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Executive Chef, SoBou
Diane Yang, Pastry Chef, Spoon and Stable and Bellecour
“Dip them in BUTTER!”
Katie Button, Executive Chef/Owner, Cúrate and Nightbell
“The best thing about early spring are the radishes with the bright green tops that you can get. I cut them in half, leave the green tops attached, toss them in a little olive oil and salt and grill them. They are delicious. The green leaves get crispy as they grill and char and the radish gets just tender but still has a bite to it. Serve with a whipped butter or fresh ricotta covered with chopped fresh herbs like dill and tarragon and a little lemon zest, yum!”
Try this recipe for roasted radishes with radish greens.
“Eat it raw or make a white kimchi with it.”
Cynthia Wong, Executive Pastry Chef, Butcher & Bee
Gavin Kaysen, Chef/Owner, Spoon and Stable and Bellecour
“Raw, sliced, and dressed with olive oil and salt draped over the Bison Tartar at Spoon and Stable.”