Buttery, slightly sweet, with a mild earthy note – these taste like spring
It’s radish season!
Not impressed? This recipe may change your mind.
When you glaze radishes in butter and a bit of sugar, they lose most of their sharp edge. And they develop a deep, rooty flavor that pairs particularly well with roast meats. Best of all, glazing radishes is an easy way to cook them.
So make more than you think you’ll need. Everyone will want seconds. Maybe thirds.
Recipe: Glazed Radishes
Radishes are fast-growing and love cool weather, so they’re always one of the first locally grown produce items available in spring. They’re great raw in salads, of course, but when cooked their flavor develops new dimensions.
You can use any kind of radish in this recipe. We used ordinary red radishes, but other varieties work equally well.
We prefer to buy radishes in bunches, with the greens still attached (they’re fresher and generally higher quality than the bagged ones). We don’t use the greens in this recipe, but they’re edible. You can add them to salads or use them in soup. Or even add them to a smoothie.
This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and serves 4 as a side dish (you can easily halve or double the recipe).
Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in a covered container. We suggest warming the leftover radishes before you serve them.
- 3 bunches of radishes, preferably with greens attached (at least 2 dozen radishes)
- ½ to 1 cup water (can substitute stock; see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us – see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (several grinds for us)
- ~2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
- Cut the greens off the radishes, leaving a “tail” of ¼ to ½ inch (see Notes). Reserve the greens for another use. Cut the stringy roots off the radishes, flush with the body of each radish. Wash the radishes well (they can be sandy). If some of the radishes are noticeably larger than the others, cut them in half.
- Add the radishes to a frying pan or saucepan (one just wide enough to hold the radishes in one layer). Add the water (or stock) until it comes about halfway up the radishes. Add the butter, sugar, and salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan, then continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (until the radishes are just tender when you insert a knife tip into them).
- Uncover the radishes, then increase the heat to boil off the remaining liquid. Note that during Step 2, the radishes probably have lost some color (sometimes they turn completely white). The color they lose will tint the water a rosy red. As you boil off the water, you’ll form a glaze. Using a large spoon or spatula, roll the radishes in the glaze to coat them (this will help recolor the radishes, albeit in a lighter shade – probably a pastel pink). Some sugar will likely remain on the bottom of the pan after the water has boiled off, so add another tablespoon or two of water to dissolve it. Then bring the water to a boil again and continue to roll the radishes in the liquid until it has boiled off (this will coat each radish with glaze). The radishes may brown a bit, but that’s OK. Browning just adds to their flavor.
- Remove the radishes from the heat. Adjust the salt and add black pepper, then add the minced parsley, if using. Toss to combine, and serve.
- We leave a short “tail” of greens on the radishes because we like the way it looks when cooked. But you can cut the greens off completely if you prefer.
- Using chicken or beef stock (instead of water) adds extra flavor and makes for a richer dish.
- Some people add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the cooking water (Step 2), which gives an interesting flavor twist. Next time we do this, we may try using balsamic vinegar.
- You can substitute brown sugar for white sugar if you wish.
- Step 3 calls for adding an extra tablespoon or two of water to finish the dish. But you could substitute port wine or cream instead for a different flavor note.
- Bacon goes well with glazed radishes. If you’d like to add it, here’s how: Cut a couple pieces of bacon into small pieces, then cook them in the pan that you’ll be using to cook the radishes. When the bacon is brown and crisp, remove it and set aside. Cook the radishes as directed in the recipe, but reduce the amount of butter by half (the rendered bacon fat in the pan will take its place). When the glazed radishes are done, sprinkle them with the cooked bacon pieces and serve.
- We like to serve glazed radishes when they’re hot, but they’re also good lukewarm. So you can cook them a bit ahead of time if you wish, and then set them aside until you’re ready to eat.
- We use kosher salt for cooking. This is coarser than regular table salt, so it doesn’t seem as “salty” by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, start with about half as much as we suggest. But, as always, season to your taste, not ours.
- Radishes are Brassicaceae, making them part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Other veggies in this family include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Radishes are grown around the world, and have been cultivated since at least the third century BC (and probably long before).
- Radishes are grown mainly for their roots. But, as noted above, the greens are also tasty. Radishes come in numerous varieties, with flavor ranging from mild to peppery hot.
“Ah, radishes,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “The first veggie of spring.”
“Easy to grow, too,” I said. “Assuming the rabbits don’t eat their leaves before the roots have time to develop.”
“Aargh, rabbits,” said Mrs K R. “Hope springs eternal when battling them. And squirrels.”
“The moment we plant our seeds, all the local critters just spring to life,” I said.
“And once things start growing, they really spring into action,” said Mrs K R. “I swear I can hear them munching out there.”
“Maybe we should just admit defeat,” I said. “I don’t feel that old spring in my step when I contemplate fighting off the critters once again.”
“Agreed,” said Mrs K R. “So here’s our resolution: Instead of battling wildlife, we’ll just spring for the great locally grown produce at the farmer’s market.”
And give new meaning to the term “spring chickens.”
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Moroccan Carrot Salad
Moroccan Orange and Radish Salad
Or check out the index for more recipes
I love your idea! I love them baked and now I'm curious about your version.
I usually eat them raw because I have no idea they can be glazed! They look super duper delicious! Great clicks, as always, John.
Hi Marta, they're really good baked/roasted too, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.
Hi Angie, I think most radishes are eaten raw. And of course they're wonderful in salads. But even more wonderful when glazed! Thanks for the comment.
Glazed radishes? That's a new one for me! Pretty colour. If you make them with balsamic, would you omit the sugar since balsamic is usually sweet on its own?
Hi Eva, I wouldn't decrease the sugar -- you'd still need it for glazing the surface of the radishes. Although maybe the sugar in the balsamic would do the trick? Obviously experiments are in order! :-) Thanks for the comment.
At first I thought they are pickled shallots but then I found they were even something better. They look so pretty and vibrant. I love eating radishes but never thought of the fact that they could be glazed. Thanks for the inspiration John.
I have never tried glazed radishes. They look pretty & tasty.
You have some really rad-ical ideas about food. I've never even thought of cooking a radish!
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Anu, we see glazed carrots a lot, but other veggies? Not so much. Too bad -- great way to cook them! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, they're both! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Mae, you gotta try this! I think you'd really like it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love radishes and tend to buy bags of them and eat them raw - they're delicious! It never even occurred to me to glaze them like this. I will definitely give this a try sometime but love, love, love, raw radishes. Thanks for sharing this.
Ha ha cute dialog at the end! And really fun recipes. I am ot a huge radish fan but my dad loves them. I do liek to play around with cooked recipes, these glazed radishes look beautiful. Maybe he can get some for his birthday dinner ;-)
They never make it to cooking stage in my house because I just eat them raw :D I might have to buy extra to try this dish. Looks so beautiful.
Hi Vicki, we like to snack on raw radishes too! And in fact eat raw radishes most of the time. But they're wonderful when glazed -- definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Evelyne, you might change your mind about the taste of radishes once you try this dish -- their peppery sharpness is mellowed, and they take on a new flavor dimension. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ansh, we love them raw, too! But this dish is wonderful -- SO worth making. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love radishes, but have never ever had a cooked one. I must try this!
I love the color of radishes but I'm not one to love them raw and as a result usually pass them by in the market. But I had a dish last year that combined fresh beets and roasted radishes that opened my eyes so I know how delicious these must be. Still pretty too!
What a fascinating post! I never knew you could do this with radishes and to think I just ate some sliced up in my salad when I could be enjoying these beautiful little orbs! Thanks John - this is a must try!
I love radishes, what a great idea!☺
Hi Laura, you must! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Barbara, roasted radishes are wonderful! If you like those, you'll like these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Tricia, you'll like these! Excellent flavor, and look rather pretty, too. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Natalia, isn't this neat? Great way to taste spring! Thanks for the comment.
I have never ever seen anything like this. My dad loves radishes and just eat them raw with salt. I like diakon radish and only eat it with sushi... THIS is newwww to me! Cooking radish... I must try!
Hi GiGi, you do have to try this! I haven't glazed daikon radishes, but I'll bet they're good! Thanks for the comment.
The most beautiful radishes I've ever seen! Certainly a must try spring recipe!
Wow John, this is one amazing recipe! I have never heard of glazed radishes, but they look and sound fab! Bookmarking this for summer, many thanks!
Hi Deb, these really are pretty, aren't they? And taste even better than they look! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Liz, you'll love this! Thanks for the comment.
WoW, John! What an innovative way to prepare radishes. Who would have thought of it??? I love them raw, especially with a dip. I must give this a try ASAP :) Pat
Hi Pat, glazed veggies are fun! Not to mention good. You'll enjoy this -- radishes take particularly well to glazing. Thanks for the comment.
I have never had a cooked radish but after looking at these beauties, I question my sanity. They're gorgeous!
Hi Maureen, this really are pretty, aren't they! You need to try these. And soon! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I never thought about glazing the radish until now. How neat! They looks so good.
What a stunning vegetarian dish!! Something new for me to try.
Hi Holly, I love glazed veggies, and radishes are wonderful when cooked that way! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Densie, isn't this neat? And it is a bit different. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a great way to prepare radishes , I have to try it.
How exciting this recipe is?!! I've never known or seen such recipe for radish before, we usually have it raw in salad. Seriously so innovative.
Hi Gerlinde, you do! You'll love these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amira, neat dish, isn''t it? Almost all root veggies can be glazed -- it's a nice technique to play with. Thanks for the comment.
I don't think I've ever seen such pretty veggies :). I absolutely love radishes but I never think to eat them any way other than sliced in a salad. Thank you for the inspo!
What a beautiful way to enjoy radishes, love that you added sugar but that really helps with the flavor. Clever idea!!
Hi Kelsie, we like raw radishes in salad, too, but these taste almost like an entirely different veggie. Really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Cheri, the sugar definitely does add some flavor, and also adds that nice glaze coating. Thanks for the comment.
Who knew??? Besides, you, that is!! I love raw radishes so I know I'd enjoy this glazed version, too.
Hi Liz, I think people got out of the habit of glazing most root veggies (other than carrots) a couple of decades ago when they became fat- and sugar-adverse. Too bad, because it's a great way to cook them! Thanks for the comment.
I have never heard of glazed radish and I must admit these are the prettiest radish that I have ever seen...I can see these on an Easter table, it will bring lots of smiles...thanks for the recipe John!
I hope you are having a wonderful week :)
I've tried cooking radishes before -- but not this way. I'm sure I'd be more impressed, John. These look great. Most vegetables do have more than one life and radishes deserve to be more than color on a salad!
Hi Juliana, these would be great on an Easter table! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rosemary, we like to roast radishes, but these look prettier. And taste better, I think. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Thanks for sharing this one John. I look forward to trying this. They look so pretty. I've never done anything with Radishes except throw them in a salad and of course a staple for Mexican Food.
How beautiful. I don't think I've ever eaten a cooked radish.
Hi Lea Ann, love a radish on a taco! And you'll love this recipe -- you'll see a totally different side of radishes. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amalia, you owe it to yourself to try! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love!!! that shot John. I bet the little sweet and savory make this a lip smacking delicious side dish. Can't wait to try.
Hi Bobbi, isn't this a pretty dish? Fun to photograph. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I've never seen such a thing! They're beautiful! I might have time to make these for company tonight... Would you recommend them as part of an hors d'oeuvres platter?
HI Mimi, these would make a fun item on an hors d'oeuvres platter! They're a bit sticky (that sugar glaze) so be sure to provide forks (which you have to do anyway for so many hors d'oeuvres). Thanks for the comment.
These look so good, that glaze is really impressive!
Hi Caroline, I did spend a few minutes working on that glaze, but it was worth it! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This makes me want to try radishes! I never liked them but I think I could go for this!
Hi Ashley, glazing really tames the spicy bite of radishes. Almost tastes like a whole new veggie! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is a great way to add radish in our diet. It looks delicious. I have to try it soon. :)
Hi Ritu, it's a good dish -- I'll bet you'll like it! Thanks for the comment.
This is a sign that I need to buy radishes at the store. Just this morning Bobby was reading me a radish snack where you just spread butter on a radish with a little salt and eat. Now I come upon your glazed radish dish and am enthralled. I personally love radishes but Bobby can take or leave them. I don't think he would be leaving these especially if I add the bacon. :) Very clever dish John! I'll let you know when I make it because I will be making it! Thanks@
Hi MJ, I've had radishes and butter -- really good. You'll like this dish -- enjoy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love radishes raw in salads or dragged through sweet soft butter. Glazing them like this is so gorgeous that I definitely want to try this next. Who knows -- cooking them may become my favorite way to eat them yet.
Hi Carolyn, you'll like these -- such a neat flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Brilliant idea, John. And how beautiful they look.
Hi Frank, these are rather pretty, aren't they? And taste wonderful! Thanks for the comment.
I had radishes similar to this on one of our trips to Germany…silly me for never making them myself as they are very good. Thanks for the inspiration.
Hi Karen, these really are good, aren't they? And look great, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Radish, butter, and sugar.. oh this I have to try!
Never thought of glazing radish. They look so good and the pink hue makes it even appeasing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Hi Peachy, you do, you do. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Shibi, the color is interesting, isn't it? As is the flavor! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Please! Do not mention rabbits. And I hate to say it, but we have rats this year. Apparently the winter has been mild and the coyotes chased the foxes out, so we have rats. Think I'd rather have rabbits. In any case I adore radishes and have never tried them cooked. I'm thinking these would look lovely on my Passover table.
Hi Abbe, the rats sound delightful. Not! You'll have to try these -- cooked radishes are wonderful! Thanks for the comment.
I'm totally loving this recipe! What a great idea. I rarely think of cooking radishes, but it's such a great idea and these look really delicious.
Hi Amy, isn't this nice? So flavorful! Thanks for the comment.
I've never had cooked radishes. I found it midly interesting at first, but as I read through your notes, I found myself really wanting to try this! Thanks for the post!
Hi Jeff, you should try this -- the flavor is SO good! Thanks for the comment.
Haven't had them this way before, they look really pretty!
Hi Pamela, they're really good when glazed -- you'll like them. And don't they look great? :-) Thanks for the comment.
I've always loved radishes even though I generally cook more daikon radish/turnip. This simple dish looks delicious and I am sure Mrs YR will appreciate a lot. Thanks for sharing John!
Hi Yi, radishes are good! Haven't tried making this with daikon, but I'll bet it'd be tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
These are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Charlotte, don't these look great? And they taste wonderful! :-) Thanks for the comment.
That looks pretty! I bet they tasted delicious as well, perfect for a side dish
Hi Raymund, don't these look great? Pretty, as you say, and really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I didn't know that you can cook these radish variations. I am surprised because we always eat them raw, dipped in some salt nd with some butter and bread. Typical farmers food in fact. I won't be able to try these so soon because we are not in Europe anymore but when I am once again, I will think of you and your glazed radish.
Hi Helene, we usually eat them raw, too, but radishes are wonderful when cooked! Thanks for the comment.
Great idea. I hardly buy radishes unless I"m adding them to a salad or tacos. So much you can do with them, love the idea of using it as a side dish.
Hi Nisha, we don't use radishes enough either -- such a good veggie. And so lovely when cooked! Thanks for the comment.
Just wanted to let you know that I made this last night and we loved it! Thanks!
Hi MJ, cool! Isn't this a neat recipe? Glad you liked it!
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