Radish Seed Pods Are Chef Favorites
What's the "it" ingredient this season?
The seed pods of radishes.
After the radish plant produces the vegetable, radish seed pods grow towards the top of the plant, near the flowers. If you're scratching your head and wondering why you've never seen them before, it's because they only show up when the radish plant has been left in the ground instead of harvested. So if you're doing your job, you'll never see them.
But farmers-in-the-know stick a few extra radish plants in the ground just for these crunchy munchies, which are great for pickling, In Atlanta, they're being sautéed and served atop fish specials at Empire State South and The Iberian Pig, but Tucker Yoder, executive chef of Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia says they're perfect right off the stalk.
"These radish plants were growing at a friend's farm and we started snacking on the seed pods," he says. "I found their flavor to be really interesting; they have a little bit of a peppery bite."
Yoder picks, rinses and serves his radish pods with cultured butter topped with black cocoa, a flavor combination that "adds creaminess and sweetness to round everything out on the plate," he says. The black cocoa resembles soil, bringing everything back to its roots.
Radish Pods with Cultured Butter and Black Cocoa
By Tucker Yoder, Clifton Inn
12 radish pods
½ pound cultured butter*
12 radish flowers
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 cup black cocoa crumbs**
Arrange radish pods and flowers as if they have just fallen from the plant next to a small mound of butter garnished with salt and black cocoa crumbs.
3 cups pasteurized heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized)
1 cup cultured buttermilk
Mix cream and buttermilk, let sit at room temperature for 12 hours and refrigerate overnight (or for 12 hours). Put in food processor or small stand mixer and mix until the butter solids separate from the butter mix (it will look like butter in cloudy water). Strain off the buttermilk and reserve for more butter or another use. Knead butter with hands to remove excess buttermilk. Rinse butter in ice water and continue to knead until no more liquid is coming out of the butter.
**Black Cocoa Crumbs
.75 cup all-purpose flour
.5 cup sugar
7.5 tablespoons butter
2.75 tablespoons ground chicory root
2.75 tablespoons black cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead it until it's a crumbly dough. Spread the dough onto a sheet tray and bake in 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crispy. Break up the baked-off cookie and grind up in a food processor until crumbly and resembles soil. This will make more than you need, but you can refrigerate them in a sealed container.