A couple weeks ago, we opened our first CSA box with joy and glee. Zoe flipped the top open with a giggle. ”It’s like Christmas, Momma!” she exclaimed. Ha! In my mind, I was thinking “Thank God Christmas doesn’t come with radishes!” (I’m going to regret posting this thought as I’m sure someone will find it fun to gift some radishes to me. Alas the joke will be on them. My baby and I love them now!)
We started the first week with radishes. We roasted them. And yes, they are good roasted. Even the carnivore in the house helped polish off the small bowl of roasted radishes. But, I think he thought that would be it.
HA! Week #2 CSA box: more radishes. In fact, this is what we got:
- collard greens (recipe for this below as well)
- red butterhead lettuce
- green butterhead lettuce
- mixed salad greens
Most of the veggies easily fit in to our regular veg-habits. True, we are eating more salad greens – but using them mostly as wraps for grilled meats or sandwiches. I think we’ve only had two salads in the last two weeks “because we had to eat the veggies”. Rather, we are incorporating the veggies into our regular routine. I mean really? We eat a ton of stir fry and fresh fruit/veg. So adding spinach? Done. We would have bought it weekly at the grocer too. So from that above list only two were things we would not have picked up at the grocer: radishes (still not super fans here) and collard greens (not always in our stores).
So those are the two things I chose to tackle. First: collard greens. My love enjoys collard greens southern style. I’ve enjoyed them as well. But prepping them myself? Nope. No experience.
The greens were tender and I used one as a wrap for a sandwich. It was good, but I knew I wouldn’t eat them all like there. And there weren’t enough to make in the style my husband wanted. (The beauty of the CSA is that there isn’t so much as to intimidate and just enough to encourage us to try it all.)
So, I made Collard Green Chips. Yes. The same thing that people are making with Kale. The same kind of dried chip that we love (especially the seasoned lavar with sesame oil and salt – YUM!). For the collard chips, I did the following:
- wash the greens, trim the stalk and cut into chunks (fourths, in my case)
- massage greens with sesame oil and salt for a few minutes – be sure to cover every piece evenly.
- lay out on parchment or a silpat, put into a 350F oven, bake until crisp 6-8 minutes
I loved eating the chips plain. So did the baby. But really, my favorite was crumbling the chips over the top of some scrambled eggs or some brown rice at dinner time. I loved the flavor it added without being overpowering that way.
But those pesky radishes. Surely I wouldn’t have to roast more, right? I didn’t want to spend my summer roasting veggies. I have a few in the fridge from this week that I plan to figure out with the gas grill outside. (I have a rockin’ recipe for a grilled potato salad that I think would benefit from some grilled radish.)
Anticipating more radishes from the CSA, I began to plan. I made several batches of these savory radish cakes and to be honest, they became quite addictive. The baby demolished them for breakfast one day and lunch the next (much to my mother’s dismay).
I have to beg your forgiveness though. For once, I am posting my estimates and guesses at what would be the final recipe. I altered it some many times and stopped taking notes at some point along the way because it got to be too much to manage: the cooking, the baby who wanted it ASAP, the toddler who wanted to help cook, the final exams to be written and graded, etc. It was just all too much.
Thankfully, summer has started. Grades are in. Classroom is cleaned up. And life is beginning again. I’m trying out my mommy wings again and enjoying it. Swimming lessons, slurping strawberries, painting fingernails, and planning naps. NAPS! Life is good when everyone naps, huh?
Anyway. Stopping the yammering. Posting the recipe. Just know: You’ve been warned. It’s rough. BUT DANG. It’s good!
Savory Radish Cakes – gluten free1 recipe makes 12 – 18 cakes
3-4 medium radishes (4.5 ounces), shredded
1/2 cup millet flour (88g/3 ounces)
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour (68g/2.5 ounces)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (45g/2 ounces)
1 smidge of xanthan gum – 1/3 teaspoon??? (can be omitted)
1 – 2 cups hot water (I’m totally guessing on the water, can you tell?)
1 teaspoon (??) salt
1 teaspoon (??) garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon (??) cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
oil for pan frying (olive oil or sesame)
- Shred radishes (go food processor!), toss with salt generously, and put into a colander over a bowl to catch liquid. Set aside.
- Mix together flour, starches, smidge of xanthan gum (if using), salt, garlic powder, and cracked black pepper. (I used my food processor to do this because it was easy to rinse out after shredding the radishes. Heck. One piece of kitchen gadgetry per recipe is my goal.)
- In a separate container (or 2 cup measuring cup), heat 1 cup of water (not boiling – but hot like a cup of tea). Add sesame oil. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour the water into the flour mix. You want the mixture to have the same consistency as pancake batter eventually. So, start with one cup of water. Don’t add any more just yet.
- Go back to your salted, shredded radishes. Squeeze out as much water as you can from them. Toss them into your batter. Whirl the food processor again.
- Now check your consistency. It should be a thick pancake batter (almost like for waffles). If not, add more hot water slowly until you reach that desired thickness. It should slowly, thickly slide off a spoon but be thicker than cake batter and not drip off the spoon.
- Pan fry the cakes in oil. Sprinkle the cakes with a bit of salt while frying.
- Serve when warm with Soy-Ginger dipping sauce. (Recipe below)
Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- Put all together in a small jar and shake well. Set aside.
- Refrigerate any unused portion and use within a few days.
Really…this recipe is worth a try. I’m sorry for the guess with the water. But …bah… it is what it is.
And one last radish tip: Shaved radishes + cucumbers make an AWESOME Thai salad. I shaved my remaining radishes, seeded and peeled two English cucumbers and chopped the cukes into small pieces. Then I mixed together 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice. OH MAN. PERFECT summer treat. (Yes, it makes a lot of liquid, but hey…that’s how I like my Thai Cucumber salad.)