The small victory here is all about cooking vegetables that are almost always served raw. Not only will you discover a new angle for something like a radish, you will also add a bit of variety to your regular routine — not to mention guarantee that you will impress your dinner guests. The olive dressing is good on many things. Try spooning it on top of goat cheese (serve with toast or crackers), sliced tomatoes, or grilled chicken or fish.
|1½||pounds (about 2 bunches) radishes, split lengthwise (it’s OK to leave a
little of the stem)
|5||tablespoons olive oil|
|Kosher salt, to taste|
|1||small garlic clove, chopped fine|
|1||tablespoon sherry vinegar|
|12||pitted kalamata olives, chopped fine|
|1||tablespoon chopped Italian parsley or chives, or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (for garnish)|
1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Put the radishes on the baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with a large pinch of salt, and use your hands to toss everything together. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the radishes are tender and browned, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the garlic, a large pinch of salt, and the vinegar. Let them sit and get to know each other for 10 minutes (this quick-pickle moment will tame the bite of the garlic and also infuse the vinegar with the garlic). Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and then stir in the olives.
4. Transfer the roasted radishes to a serving platter, spoon the olive dressing over the radishes, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Spin-offs: Try stir-frying iceberg lettuce; it sounds really out there, but it is very good. Get a large skillet nice and hot over high heat and add a slick of oil and some finely chopped peeled ginger, garlic, and fresh red chile. Once those sizzle, add a couple handfuls of chopped iceberg lettuce and cook, stirring a bit. Serve drizzled with soy sauce and fish sauce.
For braised celery, saute a sliced onion in olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Once it’s soft, add a few garlic cloves, chopped fine, a couple of anchovies (if you’re into them, but OK if not), and a head of celery cut into 2-inch pieces. Add enough vegetable or chicken stock to reach halfway up the celery. Cover and simmer until the celery is soft, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and serve drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Endive or radicchio, cut into wedges and coated with olive oil and salt, are seared on a hot grill for a few minutes on each side until they’re nice and charred. Serve with lemon wedges. Adapted from “Small Victories,” by Julia Turshen