|Pasta with Radishes and Lemony Breadcrumbs|
|Right Food for the Season - Early Spring|
|Written by Colleen McConnell|
I love the crisp, peppery bite of a raw radish, and I honestly never thought to cook them. It turns out they completely transform when cooked, becoming sweeter and a bit earthier. My new favorite way to enjoy them is to simply sauté them in a little butter until they’re mostly tender but retain a little bite.
I also don’t like to forget about the often tossed radish greens, which are the most nutritious part of the radish. This simple dish uses an entire bunch of radishes, combining cooked radishes and the radish greens with pasta. A little lemon juice brightens up the flavors and buttery panko breadcrumbs provide some nice texture. The vibrant pink radishes against the greens make for a dish that’s as beautiful as it is tasty.
Pasta with Radishes and Lemony Breadcrumbs
For the Breadcrumbs:
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Pasta:
1 large bunch of radishes
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces pasta (I used whole wheat farfalle)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red chili flakes
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly grated Parmesan
Heat one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown. Take off the heat, stir in the lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Separate the radishes from the leaves. Discard any tough stems from the leaves and wash both the radishes and leaves.
Heat up the remaining butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the radishes in half lengthwise and then into 1/8 inch slices. Add to the skillet along with a pinch of salt. Cook for about five minutes, or until the radishes are tender but retain some bite. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Start cooking the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. Meanwhile, add the garlic to the skillet. Cook for a minute or so, until softened. Add the radish leaves along with a pinch of chili flakes. Cook until just wilted and then add the lemon juice.
When the pasta is al dente, add it to the skillet along with the cooked radishes set aside earlier. Season with salt, if necessary, and add a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve topped with the breadcrumbs.