a garden special: roasted radishes & sweet potatoes

Seven years ago, my brother started the prize of our family’s back yard– our garden. It started out as a tomato garden; then it became a vegetable garden, and now, it’s a vegetable garden with some strawberry neighbors (my addition). For six of those seven years, it was almost exclusively taken care of by my faithful brother, but I joined him this year in selecting the plants and weeding out the obnoxious trespassers. It’s been fun, and today, we reaped the first of our harvest.

Radishes. I love ’em. However, I’ve only had them raw, and I recently learned that not all raw vegetables are so hot (no pun intended) (why?). In a nut shell, radishes contain goitrogens which, when eaten in large amounts, can cause iodine deficiency, and thus seriously interfere with the thyroid’s functions. Most of the potentially harmful substances seem to be released while chewing a raw crucifer (a vegetable that contains the thyroid-inhibiting materials), so, while I was plucking this intimidating harvest of radishes, I decided to roast them. It just sounds right, don’t you think?

Just to keep things interesting, though, I decided to roast the radishes with potatoes (in case the radishes turned out to be disgusting, we could always pick them out and eat the old and faithful potatoes). But, apparently, my family ran out of potatoes a while ago, and we just had sweet potatoes. So I went with it, cringing. (Sweet potatoes and radishes!? Really??)

The dish was awesome. So awesome that when we finished it, my brother asked me to make some more (which I did happily because I wanted more too). It was surprisingly sweet: the flavor of the radishes completely transformed to a mostly sweet, but ever-so-slightly tangy, pleasant flavor, and the sweet potatoes were sweet, but hearty, making the perfect combination of flavor and texture. (And you know what? I think it’s the sweet potatoes that made it so darned tasty. Cheers for impromptu cooking!)

roasted radishes & sweet potatoes

(On a culinary note, these might be delicious with some herbs like rosemary and thyme– play with it. The side dish would make a lovely couple with steak, roasted chicken (with other earthy root vegetables & herbs, not light and citrus ones), lamb, venison– any wonderfully earthy meat that goes with red wine/madeira would probably be perfect.)

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/4-1/2 in.)

Radishes (wash them well, but don’t remove the red skins; they make for a beautiful presentation), sliced into fourths or fifths, depending on the size of the radish

~ 4-5 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil (I use Delallo’s organic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil– love it & highly recommend it)

~1-2 Tbl Extra virgin coconut oil (I use Nutiva’s organic, extra virgin coconut oil.)

Sea salt

Black pepper

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.) Wash and cut the vegetables as directed. Pat dry. Place on a cookie sheet/jellyroll pan and distribute thinly, making sure just about every vegetable is touching the bottom of the pan (i.e. don’t crowd the pan).

3.) Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables (I didn’t measure the oils– if it looks right, go with it). Add a dab of coconut oil here and there on the veggies.

4.) Sprinkle salt & pepper over the veggies and pop them in the oven.

5.) Bake for about 20 minutes, taking the pan out after about 10-15 minutes to shake the pan back and forth. They’re done when the potatoes are a teensy bit past fork tender and the radishes have caramelized. Enjoy!

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