I created this radish recipe along with several others for Better Homes & Gardens to showcase the versatility of cast iron, which I believe every household should have at least two cast iron skillets – one 12” and one 10”. They are very affordable and cost $40 and under. Better yet – if you care for them properly, they will last a lifetime. When cooked in a hot cast iron skillet, radishes soften and mellow to tender perfection. This recipe takes a cue from from my Poppop who only cooked one thing ever in his life – bacon with eggs in his parents’ cast iron skillet. Rather than bacon, this recipe crisps up salty bits of thin prosciutto, leaving a tich of salty fat in the pan for the radishes to soak up and caramelize. When cooked, radishes mellow out and become slightly sweet – that’s a tip I picked up years ago when I learned how to write cookbooks with my now dear friend Sara Foster of Foster’s Market in Durham, NC. When the radishes are soft, fold in their spicy tasting radish tops, then sprinkle with the crispy proscuitto bits. Finish with a shot or two of cider vinegar.
Total Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 pound radishes with tops,* trimmed and halved (or quartered if large)
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced shallots
- 3 cups radish tops*, baby arugula or baby kale*
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Place the prosciutto slices in the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp on both sides. Transfer to a few layers of paper towels on a dinner plate to drain. Let cool and break into small pieces.
Add the radishes cut side down to the skillet. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the shallots and cook 2-3 minutes more or until the radishes and shallots are tender and browned. Remove from the heat.
Toss the radish tops*, arugula or baby kale if using, in the skillet. Cover and let wilt for 1 minute. Drizzle with the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the bits of prosciutto.
*Tip: If your radish greens are in good shape (vibrant green and free of holes), rinse well, dry with a clean dish towel or a few layers of paper towel, and use in combination with baby arugula or baby kale.