Braised and Glazed Radishes, Turnips, or other Root Vegetable
An elegantly simple and wonderful way to prepare all kinds of vegetables. See the variations for many other ways to use the technique. Other vegetables you can use: anything hard and fibrous, really—jícama, parsnips, celery root, waxy potatoes—but not vegetables that easily become mushy, like starchy potatoes or sweet potatoes.
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 pound radishes, trimmed, or daikon, turnips, or rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup stock, white wine, or water, plus more as needed
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Combine the butter or oil, radishes, and stock in a large saucepan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently. Cook until the radishes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, checking once or twice and adding liquid as needed.
2. Uncover and raise the heat so the liquid bubbles aggressively. Cook off almost all the liquid so that the vegetable becomes glazed in the combination of butter or oil and pan juices. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and add a little lemon juice if you like. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Braised and Glazed Radishes or Other Root Vegetable with Miso: Try this with daikon: In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce. In Step 2, as the radishes become glazed, whisk together 2 tablespoons each any miso (white is mildest) and stock or water. Turn the heat under the radishes to a minimum, add the miso mixture, stir, and heat very gently for a minute or so before serving. Omit the lemon juice and parsley.
Braised and Glazed Carrots: Replace the radishes with 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks. Garnish with dill, mint, or chervil.
Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash: Use 1 ½ pounds butternut squash; peel and seed it, then cut into chunks. Use good-quality vegetable oil. Cook 1 tablespoon minced garlic in a large skillet for about a minute before adding the squash. Cook the squash until it begins to brown on one side, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add 1⁄4 cup stock or water. Cover and cook as directed in the main recipe. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Braised and Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Combine 1 pound trimmed Brussels sprouts, 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, and 1⁄2 cup stock in a large skillet. Bring to a boil then adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently. Cover and proceed with the recipe. Garnish with lots of pepper.