Honey Roasted Radishes with Chickpeas, Radish Greens and Toasted Seeds

 
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If you've never tried roasting your radishes before, you're in for a real treat. The radishes become meltingly tender and sweet after a short time in the oven. Paired with the chickpeas, oven crisped greens and crunchy seeds, this is a perfect spring meal.

COMFORT • main dish • SPRING • VEGAN


 

It’s a great pleasure in the kitchen when you think you know an ingredient – how to use it, what to pair it with – and then suddenly something happens to turn everything  on its head.

This is what happened the day I first roasted a radish. Crunchy, spicy, fresh and light; I thought I had the radish number down to a tee. But the radish that comes out of the oven is a completely different creature to the one that went in.

A short blast of intense heat subdues that fierce crunch and fiery bite into a meltingly tender heep of sweetness. Everything about it is less bold – even the color is muted down to a sweet sixteen sort of pastel. It’s approachable. It’s like that overly blunt friend who went on a meditation retreat and came back a little bit kinder and easier to be around.

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Then, there’s the radish greens. How many times have  I nipped them off and shoved them in the compost without a second thought? Sacrilege. There’s a lot more focus these days on not wasting perfectly edible food and radish greens are a prime example, with the punch line being they are actually more nutritious than the radishes themselves. They might be a little difficult to manage raw, but a brief flash in the oven crisps them up and renders a beautifully delicious leafy green that could rival kale or collards any day.

The radishes and greens would be perfectly delicious on their own as a side dish, but to make this into a feast of a meal, I’ve added some roasted chickpeas and a scattering of toasted sunflower seeds. This meal is a great example of how delicious ingredients simply prepared cannot be rivaled when it comes to flavor. Sometimes you just have to let things shine.

 

The other star of the show here is the texture. It’s an often under-appreciated component of what makes something delicious. Here you get meltingly tender radishes, crisp greens, meaty chickpeas and crunchy, salty seeds. It’s a feast for the senses. 

So there you have it. Just when you think you know someone, they turn around and surprise you. But this is a good thing, at least in the kitchen.  

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Honey roasted radishes with chickpeas, radish greens and toasted seeds

Prep Time 15 min • Cook Time 20 min • Total Time 35 min

 

Serves 4

For the chickpeas

  • 15.49 oz (439 g) canned chickpeas, drained

  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • black pepper

For the radishes

  • .88 lb (400 g) radishes (2 large bunches) + their greens

  • 1 tbsp runny honey

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • good pinch of salt

  • black pepper

  • extra olive oil for the greens

  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

For the garnishes

  • 1 cup (133 g) sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • zest of 1 lemon

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  2. Place the drained chickpeas in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Pour the chickpeas onto the prepared tray and roast for 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare your radishes. Begin by removing the greens. Discard any that are yellowed or beyond their prime, but save the rest as you will need them in a just a bit.

  4. Slice the radishes in half and wash them thoroughly in a colander to remove any grit or dirt. Dry them off and then place them in a bowl with the honey, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. 

  5. Once the chickpeas have had their twenty minutes in the oven, add the radishes to the pan and set the timer for an additional twenty minutes. 

  6. Wash the radish greens well to remove any dirt. Shake off as much excess moisture as you can. Remove the stemmy bits from the leaves and chop the remainder into rough pieces. 

  7. When the 20 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and scatter the greens over the top of the radishes and chickpeas. Drizzle over a little more olive oil, squeeze over the juice of 1/2 a lemon and sprinkle over some additional salt and pepper. It might seem like a good amount of greens right now, but they will wilt down. Return to the pan to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

  8. Add the sunflower seeds to a dry skillet and heat over a medium flame until the seeds become fragrant and begin to brown. Remove from the heat and add the 1/2 tsp of salt. Toss well to combine. 

  9. After the 5 minutes, remove the pan from the oven. Mix the greens into the radishes and chickpeas, top generously with the toasted sunflower seeds and grate the zest of a lemon over the top. Serve and enjoy!


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