Crisp, peppery radishes add instant zing to any dish.

When sliced into slender rounds, delightfully pink radishes look delicately attractive in any dish. Their dainty appearance, of course, belies their rather sharp and peppery flavour, which ensures they don’t go unnoticed. The recipe below uses cooked radishes, which are a new thing for me, but taste surprisingly good.

Grilled steak, buttery radishes and bacon with peppered sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients
4 steaks
Olive oil
Seasoning
6 rashers smoked bacon, cut into lardons
300g radishes
A large bunch of parsley

For the sauce
1tbspn peppercorns
50g butter
2 shallots
75ml brandy
100ml beef stock
50ml double cream

Method
Brush the steaks with olive oil, season well all over, then cook under a very hot grill or griddle, turning only once after six minutes for a medium steak.

Sauté the lardons of bacon and the halved radishes in a large frying pan for about 10 minutes until cooked, then add two generous handfuls of parsley and mix well.

Make the pepper sauce by crushing the peppercorns and heating them in a large pan with the butter. Add the shallot and fry gently, before pouring in the brandy, at which point you can turn up the heat to burn off the alcohol. Add the beef stock and simmer for a few minutes to reduce. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream. Return to the heat to warm and thicken, but don’t allow to boil.

Drizzle the pepper sauce over the steaks and serve immediately with the radishes and bacon on the side. 

More ways with radishes

Radishes Side_100pcPea, feta and radish salad (left)
Arrange 150g of cooked garden peas, 2 handfuls fresh mixed salad leaves, about 10 finely sliced radishes and 100g crumbled feta on a large serving dish, then pour a dressing made from 50ml olive oil, 50ml lemon juice, a tablespoon plain yoghurt, a crushed clove of garlic and seasoning over it. Add a few rye-bread croutons for a heartier version of this dish.

Pan-fried halibut with radish, fennel and lemon
Fry some halibut fillets in a little butter and olive oil until they’re gently brown all over, before trans- ferring them to an ovenproof dish and roasting for a further 10–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Add the juice of 2 lemons, 50ml olive oil, a tablespoon vinegar, half a finely sliced fennel bulb, half a finely sliced red onion, a tablespoon capers and 4 finely sliced radishes to a bowl and mix well. Just before the fish is ready to serve, remove the fillets from the pan, add the contents of the bowl and heat, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes, then pour this over the fish and serve.