The Aging Macular Degeneration which was so horrifying and frightening to me nine months ago has definitely turned into my AMD Culinary Expedition. Today, it’s Radish Leaves!
Stopping at our local Farmers Market during New Jersey’s season when nothing can beat our tomatoes or blueberries, I was also attracted to some really big radishes on the farmers’ stand. There were about ten in the bunch and of course their leaves were still attached. At home, after I snipped the bottoms and the tops attached to the leaves, so I could put the spicy red and white roots in water in the refrigerator, I wondered why I had to throw out that two cups or so of delightful looking green on top? Does anybody eat radish greens, I wondered? And could they be any good for you? So searching I went.
Much to my delight, I found one more miracle of nature that’s especially good for the eyes. In fact, I learned that the radish greens are even more nutritional than the roots, the red and white things we’ve been eating forever. Seems the leaves are chock full of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as containing very generous supplies of iron, calcium and protein.
Armed with this new knowledge, I decided it was time to experiment. I thought of radish leaves as kale or cabbage, something a bit spicier than lettuce. Duly scrubbed and chopped, why not toss a bit in with my salad? When that went well, I tried adding some more and discovered the peppery taste was great, so long as I put less fresh pepper on the finished product.
Then I wondered about sautéing some leaves, but knowing while I like spinach, I like to add walnuts and feta to a sauté, I thought up something for the leaves. Why not slice some radishes and sauté them right along with it for a tangy mix. So I tried
Radish and Leaves Salad
1 bunch of radishes, washed, cut from leaves, sliced thin
1 T. olive oil
½ teaspoon thyme and 1 t. minced garlic
Sauté the radishes in the olive oil about 2 minutes, until soft; add thyme and garlic and sauté another 6 minutes or so.
Once radishes are soft, wash and chop all the leaves from the bunch (Strangely enough, it comes out about equal, about 2 Cups chopped red roots and 2 Cups chopped green leaves all come from a single bunch you buy)
Sauté leaves along with the radishes, adding a slight bit more olive oil if necessary, for another minute or two.
Serve as a unique and very pretty side dish.
Next time, I’m going to drop some chopped leaves in my already-made soup. If it comes out as good as I think it will, then Radish Leaf Soup will be on my cooking agenda.
Then, looking for another way to prepare the avocado I’m also certainly enjoying as a new vegetable on menus, again, only since learning how beneficial they are for the eyes, I happened on a recipe for Radish Leaves and Avocado Quiche! Another treasure. And with all the calories you’re saving by eating all these veggies, you can splurge on quiche shells from the market freezer and skip the work. Using the mini shells is fun and they make every very attractive hors d’ouerves or, with several together, a great breakfast dish.
1 package 12-15) mini quiche shells
1 Bunch radish leaves, washed, towel dried and chopped
1 Shallot or half an onion, diced,
1/2 tsp mustard
1 Avocado, dicing meat with few drops of lemon juice to keep from browning
2Tbls. Sharp grated cheese Pecorino is good)
6 radishes, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper if you must, not for me.
Heat over to 350 degrees. Preheat skillet and sauté shallot/onion and butter 1 minute
Increase heat, add leaves sauté for 30 seconds and drain any juice. Set aside to cool slightly.
Puree avocado and leaves, mix well with egg, cheese, mustard, milk/cream, salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the shells, arrange radish slices on top, dot with butter cubes. Bake until the top slightly firm to touch, about 20 minutes.
Garnish with tomato bit, blueberry or both and serve warm