Every year I thank goodness for radishes. Most of the year I can take or leave them, but in April they are glowing jewels in an otherwise beige month. The kale is all gone but the peas have yet to arrive. So we’d be lost, not to mention hungry, without these vegetable gemstones.

I know it sounds a bit loopy to pan-fry radishes but, trust me, it’s worth trying. They lose a lot of their peppery punch when cooked and turn mellow, pink and deeply savoury – like a turnip’s more interesting cousin.

(Incidentally, this is the kind of dish I’ll be cooking at the next G&G cookery demo with lunch on Wednesday 25th April. If you’d like to come, and it would obviously be wonderful if you did, then click here for more info and online booking.)

Pan-fried radishes, puy lentils and anchovies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

Pan-fried radishes, puy lentils and anchovies

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 160g puy lentils
  • 300g radishes
  • Knob of butter
  • Pinch brown sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • Small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp sherry vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Peel and quarter the onions then put them in an ovenproof dish, separating the layers a bit as you go. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of olive oil and roast for 20-25 minutes until browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
  3. Whilst the lentils and onions are cooking, get the radishes going. Melt the butter in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Slice any large radishes in half then add them all to the pan. Cook over a high heat for around 5 minutes or until they are just cooked through and golden brown. Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar and balsamic, giving everything a good shake as you do. Set aside.
  4. For the dressing, put 3 anchovy fillets and 1 tbsp chopped parsley in a pestle and mortar and pummel to a paste. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the sherry vinegar and give it another pummel. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed - you won’t need salt –the anchovies will see to that – but you may want more vinegar.
  5. To assemble, tip the lentils and roasted onions into the pan of radishes. Add the remaining anchovies and parsley, then pour over the dressing. Give everything a good toss to combine then serve.
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