Over the weekend, I finally had the opportunity to pour through the Saveur 100. In case you are not a subscriber, every beginning of the year Saveur lets readers share their favorite ingredients, chefs, tools, tips, etc., and they somehow narrow it down to 100. It is so enjoyable to read! Some standouts for me this year was #2: Eggs From Your Own Chicken (my dream), #7: Clarified Butter/Ghee (the best way for carmely cooked perfection), #11: Tastespotting.com (!) and #95: Nourishing Traditions (my cooking bible). The story that stuck out for me the most though, was #25: Foods That Inspire. In this segment, Donna Long from Weston, Missouri tells the story about her husband Doug, who not being much of a foodie, has an epiphany in a cooking class that he didn't want to be at in the first place. The instructor has them roast radishes for their first assignment, and Doug, who has never liked radishes, is so pleasantly surprised by how much he likes them roasted, hasn't stopped cooking since. Roasting a radish inspired him to learn about spices, perfecting cooked fish and how to make the perfect omelet, and it inspired me to do a post on Saveur's simple roasted radishes.
Radishes are so different when cooked, losing all of their bite and becoming sweet vehicles for salt, pepper, olive oil and whatever herb you decide to cook them with. This recipe uses thyme, a spice I adore. The healthiest part of the radish is actually in the greens, so don't throw them away when making this recipe and use them in another dish! The bulbs have great nutrients as well. Radishes and their greens are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also are a very good source of potassium, folic acid and the trace mineral molybdenum. Radishes have been used for centuries for liver disorders, to improve digestion and to maintain a healthy gallbladder and liver.
Heat oven to 425 F. Trim radish greens and wash the bulbs until clean. Pat dry with a paper towel. Toss radishes with the oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour into a shallow baking dish and cook for about 40 minutes. Turn them occasionally to ensure they don't burn. Enjoy the dish that inspired Doug Long to become a foodie. Do you have a dish that inspired you to become obsessed with food? I'd love to hear about it!