Spring has arrived, and with it comes a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables. One such vegetable that often goes overlooked is the humble radish. In this recipe, we'll be highlighting the crisp, spicy flavor of radishes by smashing them and topping them with a vegan garlic parmesan sauce. It's a simple, yet elegant dish that's perfect for any springtime gathering.
Spring is in the air, and with it comes a bounty of fresh seasonal produce. One of the most iconic vegetables of the season is the radish, with its bright red and crisp white flesh. Radishes are a wonderful addition to any springtime meal, and in this recipe, we will show you how to make a delicious and simple dish of smashed radishes with a vegan garlic parmesan sauce on top.
Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a closer look at radishes and why they're a great choice for spring. March is the peak season for radishes, which are part of the Brassicaceae family, along with other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale. Radishes come in a variety of colors and shapes, but the most common are red, white, and black. They're low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Radishes also contain compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.
In Ayurvedic medicine, radishes are particularly beneficial during the kapha season, which runs from late winter through early spring. Kapha is one of the three doshas, or body types, in Ayurveda, and it's associated with qualities like heaviness, coldness, and stagnation. Radishes are considered a kapha-reducing food because they're pungent, light, and have a drying effect on the body. Eating radishes can help stimulate digestion, clear mucus from the respiratory system, and reduce water retention.
Now, let's get to the recipe. I first discovered the joy of smashed radishes when I was visiting London and stumbled upon a restaurant that served them as a side dish. The combination of the crunchy texture and tangy flavor was simply irresistible, and I knew I had to recreate the dish at home.
To start, you'll need a bunch of fresh radishes. Look for radishes that are firm, with bright red skin and crisp white flesh. Begin by washing and trimming the radishes, removing the greens and the roots (tips). Place some parchment paper on top of your baking tray and spread the radishes evenly. Drizzle some olive oil to encourage the radishes to turn golden brown and build some beautiful crispy texture. In the oven, you'll roast the fresh radishes for about 15-20 minutes or until you're able to pierce a fork through them.
Next, it's time to smash the radishes. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, gently press down on the radishes until they're lightly smashed. Don't worry about getting them too mashed up, as the goal is to create some texture and make them easier to eat.
In a blender, add the garlic, vegan mayo, plant milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to add a bit more plant milk to get the right consistency.
Pour the "parmesan" sauce over the radishes and then place the radishes back in to oven to broil for about 2 minutes. You're looking for the sauce to turn golden brown and for the radishes to become a bit crispy on top. Keep an eye on them as they are broiling, so you can prevent any burning.
Last, but not least, it's time to create a delicious chimichurri sauce using the tops of the radishes. I love recipes that include the entire veggie! This part is super simple, as you will blend all the ingredients. You'll want to blend the ingredients until they have a pesto like texture. So, not pureed, but not too chucky. Afterwards, let it rest for 30 minutes, so the flavors can be absorbed into the greens.
These radishes can be served as a side dish or snack. Enjoy the fresh and zesty flavors of spring!
Springtime Smashed Radishes with Vegan Parmesan and Chimichurri Recipe
2-3 bunches of radishes with the greens attached
Garlic Parmesan Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/4 cup of vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup of unsweetened plant milk
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Greens from one bunch of radishes
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (safflower or sunflower oil is best for spring time)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Start by washing and trimming the radishes. Cut off the tops and roots, and slice them in half lengthwise.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Place the radishes on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the radishes in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.
While the radishes are roasting, make the vegan garlic parmesan white sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, vegan mayonnaise, plant milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the radishes are done, use a fork to smash them gently on the baking sheet.
Spoon the vegan garlic parmesan white sauce over the smashed radishes.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and golden brown.
While the radishes are broiling, make the radish greens chimichurri. Wash the radish greens thoroughly and chop them finely. In a food processor or blender, pulse the radish greens, parsley, and garlic until finely chopped.
Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and pulse a few more times until well combined.
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or vinegar to taste.
Transfer the chimichurri to a bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
Once the radishes are done, remove them from the oven and serve them immediately with the radish greens chimichurri on top.
Serve immediately as a side dish or snack. The radishes will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but the sauce is best when freshly made.
If you're looking for other ways to enjoy radishes, here are a few ideas:
Thinly slice them and add them to salads for a refreshing crunch.
Roast them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt for a warm and savory side dish.
Pickle them in vinegar and spices for a tangy snack or condiment.
Use them as a topping for tacos, sandwiches, or avocado toast.
Springtime smashed radishes with vegan garlic parmesan sauce is a delicious and nutritious dish that's perfect for the season. With its vibrant colors and bold flavors, it's sure to be a hit at any meal. Plus, the added benefit of radishes being good for Kapha season in Ayurveda makes it a great addition to your springtime diet. Try out this recipe and experiment with different ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable. Who knows, you might just discover a new favorite dish!
Hope you love making this recipe as much as I do! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or if you have any questions. Take a picture of your beautiful creation and tag me at @christina.ahimsa and @compassionatefilledlife, to have it featured for our community.