Poached Radishes

One of my best friends, Abra Berens, wrote one of the most beautiful cookbooks ever but how will you believe me? The book, Ruffage, is a comprehensive guide to cooking with vegetables but more importantly it gives you real insight into how Abra cooks and thinks about food. She’s my favorite cook and if you’ve ever been to Granor Farm or her house for dinner, you know. You know.

One of the recipes in the book that has become a stand-out is a simple poached radish preparation. If you’ve only ever eaten radishes raw in a salad or spread with salted butter like a Frenchie, you need to apply some heat. I learned this a few years ago when another friend roasted some for fondue, which is also when roasted radishes became my favorite fondue vegetable. These poached radishes were featured at a dinner celebrating Abra and her book back in April at Lula Cafe, and they blew all of our minds. And they were served again at a book event at Floriole. People are into this recipe. The radishes are poached gently in chicken stock and white wine and end up as tender little morsels swimming in a cozy pink broth. It is some seriously elegant food. You can trust me.

Poached Radishes with White Wine, Chicken Stock, and Butter (from Ruffage by Abra Berens)

  • 2 bunches radishes (2lb/910g), greens removed
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken stock (homemade if possible!)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

If the radishes are vastly different sizes, halve or quarter the largest ones to be roughly the same size as the small ones. In a medium saucepan, combine the wine and stock with a big pinch of salt. When bubbling, add the radishes and reduce to a simmer; the liquid should just about cover the radishes.

Cook until the radishes are just cooked through, about 6 minutes(this really depends on radishes and I have had to go as long as 15 minutes)—they will be soft with just a touch of crispness still in the center. If the liquid is reduced and slightly syrupy, add the butter. If the liquid is still very thin, remove the radishes with a slotted spoon, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce by half.

Add the butter and lemon zest and juice, let the butter melt, and spoon the liquid over the radishes. Serve with a big pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.

3 comments to “Poached Radishes”

  1. Looks and sounds lovely! Would it be weird to serve these chilled?

  2. I’m pregnant again, so the idea of taking radishes and poaching them (!!!) is a bit shocking!
    I’m really glad to see you back on your blog with some frequency, having missed reading your work.
    May I say I’m sorry about the loss of your mother, my heart goes out to you. The longer we all live, we experience loss and all that comes with it. Life is a wild ride, man.

  3. Hi Tim! Happy to see you posting here. I loved seeing you on COJ. Your city guide made me seriously homesick in the best ways. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Down with illness. These days I’ve also read of parents using family passwords for teens to text parents when they need an out from social situations they don’t want to be in. Your childhood mugshot is adorbs.

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