One of my favorite parts of the summer is when my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts. I first tried using a CSA when I lived in Long Island, and couldn’t wait to get started again as soon as I knew we were moving to Rochester. The CSA we are using here (from Markwood Acres) has been great so far, with lots of spring and summer items: greens, greens, radishes, greens, more radishes, and peas (along with a few other items, but you get the idea). Lots of radishes. With their greens attached.
We have an amazing Public Market that I know I’ve mentioned before, and Fritz and I go every Saturday that we are in town to hit up Duke’s Donuts and grab a few essentials for the week (sausage, extra/different vegetables, etc). It’s cheap, really close by to our apartment, and super plentiful. So why the CSA?
The main reason I love a CSA: waste. I hate throwing away food, especially food that is fresh and pretty and that I have already paid for. And since I’d usually rather eat any form of bread or sugar over vegetables, the CSA forces me to make better food choices all summer long, just so I don’t waste it. I would never buy two (small) heads of lettuce at the market for just Fritz and I, but I’ll be darned if I don’t find a few new ways to dress up a salad so that we finish it all by the time the next Saturday rolls around. And I always feel better when I’ve got a lot more vegetables in me, so I appreciate the CSA pushing me a little bit. And of course there’s the added benefit of trying things that I don’t normally buy (I’m talking to you, kohlrabi).
I like being pushed to try new things, and experimenting with ways to save what we can’t use up fast enough (I’ll blog a garlic scape pesto recipe later in the week!).
We had quite a few weeks of radishes, and my first thought was to pickle them. My second thought was to sauté and add some butter and lemon to disguise the peppery taste that Fritz isn’t too sure about. I ended up doing both, but first: the sauté version.
Sautéed Radishes with Lemon (serves four)
- 1-2 t butter (I used salted)
- 2 big bunches small radishes (I had two different types: breakfast radishes and springtime radishes)
- salt to taste
- 1 T lemon juice
- sprinkle of rice wine vinegar (about 1/2 teaspoon), optional
Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan. I used an enameled cast-iron pot, which I’ve been using more and more lately for it’s amazing heat-holding and even cooking abilities.
Wash and thinly slice the radishes, rinsing and setting aside the greens for later. Sauté the radishes in the butter until they are tender but getting a nice crunch on the outside (about five to six minutes, as long as they aren’t overcrowded).
Roughly chop the greens, then add to the pot. Top with lemon juice and allow the greens to wilt.
Sprinkle with vinegar if desired, and season with salt to taste. Beware that greens cook down considerably, which is why I add the salt after.
These radishes serve four as a side, and the tangy lemon and vinegar perfectly complement the peppery radishes. Sautéing them in thin slices also really helps to mellow out the flavor if you aren’t particularly partial to this family of vegetables.
I had a hard time not just eating everything straight out of the pan.
These would be awesome served with steak or barbecued chicken, since they can stand up to strongly flavored protein without overwhelming it. You could also drop these right on top of polenta or mashed potatoes if you want to get all fancy and restaurant-y.
I’m officially a radish convert.
I have this week off from work (man, do I love following the school calendar), and already it has been a full and busy week! Fritz and I visited some of our favorite people of all time, Cait and Jeff. It was really nice to see their new home (actually, I alternate between thinking it was nice and being insanely jealous), lay by their pool, play with their absolutely adorable son and puppy, and relax. Plus they are photographers, so now I get to have some nice pictures of Fritz and I!
(Speaking of relaxing, have you seen the show Naked and Afraid? Fritz and I are weirdly obsessed with it, even though we only get to see it when we stay at my parents’ or with friends who have cable. It’s the most ridiculous premise for a show ever. People try to survive for 21 days in extreme environments with a complete stranger, naked…for no prize? Basically my worst nightmare).
Anyway, we had a really awesome time with Cait and Jeff. Here’s some other pictures from the weekend from my Instagram: