This hearty winter side dish can also become the main meal with the addition of pasta and chicken or tempeh. Pasta is great for catching all the wonderful sauce. The recipe is simple, quick and convenient enough to make on a weeknight, but also special enough to serve to your guests. We made this recently on a Thursday night when we had a friend over for dinner. This recipe uses the vegetables and herbs we have fresh from our farm here in late February, as well as honey from our beekeeper friend across the street. We used purple daikon radishes, but you could also use watermelon radishes or regular white daikon radishes. This dish beautifully marries the flavors of the sweet honey, tart lemon juice, savory rosemary and earthy radishes. Eating local is not only fresher and more flavorful, but also important from a sustainability perspective.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 large bunch daikon radishes
1 small bunch kale
2 springs of fresh rosemary
1 large white onion
½ tsp plus 1 pinch salt, reserve the pinch of salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, reserve the 2 tablespoons
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
¼ cup honey
1 lb chicken thighs, cubed OR 1 lb tempeh, cubed
1 box pasta of your choice
Some of the ingredients you will need for this recipe are shown in the picture below.
1. Mince the tips of the rosemary sprigs. As you move down the stem, the stem becomes harder. Peel off the leaves from the hard part of the stem and mince them. Discard the stem.
2. Mix the minced rosemary with ½ cup of the olive oil, and then mix in the lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, and honey. Stir until the honey and salt are dissolved and the rosemary is dispersed throughout. Set aside.
3. Cut off the leaves from the radishes and save for later. Cut off the leaf end of the radish and discard (see picture below).
Discard this part of the radish that I am holding in my hand. Also discard any stringy ends of the radish roots.
Make sure to save the radish leaves! They can be eaten once cooked and will be used later in this recipe.
4. Slice the radish into thin pieces lengthwise, and then cut the pieces into matchsticks.
5. Coarsely chop the kale and radish leaves.
6. Dice the onion.
7. Cook the pasta according to package directions, if using.
8. While the pasta is cooking (if using) Heat 2 tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until medium brown, stirring occasionally. Add the tempeh or chicken, if using, and cook until nearly done.
9. Add the radishes, radish leaves, kale and sauce to the pan with the onions. Cover and cook until the kale is just starting to wilt, 1-2 minutes.
10. Serve as a side dish, or serve over pasta for the main course.