Watermelon radishes owe their name to the stunning magenta-red color hiding under the radish’s pale-green skin that in a cross-slice resembles watermelon. Most of that peppery, sharp taste is in the skin; the red flesh is juicy and crisp and livens up any salad.
In season watermelon radishes come in bunches and can be the size of a large apple and quite versatile:
• Cut the radishes into wedges. Melt a tablespoon unsalted butter, add the radishes and braise for 10–15 minutes, or until soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish with chopped flat-leaf parsley. Perfect with pork roast over polenta.
• Pair them sliced thin with shaved fennel and green apple slices, add a mild local feta and toasted pecans, and that’s winter salad happiness on a plate.
• Along with sweet potato and carrot, cut watermelon radishes into chunks, toss with olive oil and coarse salt and roast in a 350° oven until soft. Perfect with Kitchen Sink Croquettes (see page 39)
• Cut into sticks and serve with a dipping sauce.