Recipe

Butter-Glazed Radishes

Adapted from All About Braising, by Molly Stevens

I think these radishes would make an ideal side dish for roasted chicken, but you could serve them with almost anything: fish, pork, probably even a fried egg.

1 lb. small radishes (2 to 2 ½ dozen)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup chicken stock, or water
Large pinch of sugar
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim the roots from the radishes, and pare off the greens, leaving ¼ to ½ inch of the stems. (This is mostly for looks, and for the slight flavor the stems bring, but if you want, you can completely trim away the greens.) Soak the radishes in cold water for about 15 minutes to loosen any dirt trapped in the stems. Drain and scrub the radishes. If any are more than 1 inch in diameter, halve them.

Put the radishes in a medium (10-inch) skillet. The skillet should hold them in a single layer. Add the butter, stock or water, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; then cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the radishes are tender, 18 to 25 minutes. You should be able to easily pierce them with a small knife.

Remove the lid, shake the pan to roll the radishes around, and continue to simmer until the liquid reduces to a glaze and coats the radishes, another 5 to 10 minutes. (You may need to increase the heat under the pan.) Taste for seasoning. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe

Parsnip Soup

Adapted from Spilled Milk and Matthew Amster-Burton

It doesn’t get simpler than this, so be sure you start with fresh, firm parsnips and decent-tasting vegetable stock. Homemade is nice, but honestly, I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, and the results are great.

3 to 3 ½ lb. parsnips
2 quarts vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
Water or additional stock, as needed
½ cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste

Peel the parsnips, trim and discard the ends, and cut into ½-inch pieces. Put in a large pot, and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the parsnips can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over another large pot. Working in batches, puree the parsnips and stock in a blender, tossing in a couple of pieces of butter with each batch. (And remember that hot liquids expand, so never fill the blender more than a third.) This amount of stock should yield a somewhat thick soup, and you will likely need to add a little additional water or stock as you blend, until the soup reaches your desired consistency. As you finish pureeing each batch, pour the soup through the strainer into the pot, stirring and scraping as needed with a rubber spatula to push the puree through the mesh.

When the soup is entirely pureed, stir in the cream. Rewarm gently over low heat. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

Yield: I can’t remember exactly, but I would guess 6 servings