THE SPLENDID TABLE'S HOW TO EAT SUPPER
By Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Host, The Splendid Table®, American Public Media's national food show and co-author of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories and Opinions and the new How to Eat Weekends. Ask questions and find Lynne, recipes, and station listings at splendidtable.org, or 800-537-5252.
Copyright 2012 Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Are radish tops safe, or are they dangerous like rhubarb leaves? If they won't kill me, what can I do with them?
Martin from Des Moines
Rhubarb leaves pack high levels of toxic oxalic acid, but radish leaves are safe. They have a mild bite a little like the radish beneath them, and like that radish, they are best eaten young and in great shape. There is a slightly fuzzy texture to them that some people don't care for, but it's purely a matter of personal taste.
Try them instead of lettuce or arugula in sandwiches (they love mayonnaise). I use them as a foil for roasted sweet vegetables, like peppers, onions, squashes, carrots or parsnips. Roasting browns the greens, lending them a rich, pleasingly tart-meaty flavor.
Test drive the concept with this dish. It's a chameleon, turning into a relish for topping bruschetta, a dip, a topping for anything grilled, a side dish or a sauce for pasta.
Three Pepper Roast with Radish Greens
Serves 4 to 8
20 minutes prep time; about 45 minutes oven time
You could chill the peppers up to 5 days, or freeze up to 6 months.
5 large, sweet red and yellow peppers, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 medium-hot to hot fresh chilies, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (Jalapeno, Hungarian, Cubanelle, or Serrano), optional
2 medium to large red onions, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
A big handful fresh radish leaves, spring mix, curly endive, escarole or young arugula, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
2 to 3 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons cut in wedges (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Slip a large shallow pan (a half-sheet pan is ideal) into oven to heat up. In a big bowl toss together all the ingredients (except the lemons), seasoning to taste with the salt and pepper.