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These sweet sautéed radishes are so juicy and delicious. White balsamic vinegar, honey, and a touch of salt brings out their sweetness and milds their spice. If this is your first time cooking radishes, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this colorful spring side dish!
This recipe was originally published in 2012. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
Why you'll love this dish
It's easy to get stuck choosing and preparing the same vegetables in familiar ways night after night. While eating a wide variety of vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet, it can be daunting to branch out. This is especially true when time in the kitchen is limited. That's why these simple sweet sautéed radishes are a game-changer. They turn the humble radish into a sweet and delicious side dish that can accompany almost any meal. Next time, instead of walking past them at the farmer's market or grocery store, buy a couple of bunches and give this recipe a try. If you fall in love with them, make them for a friend who might be pleasantly surprised, too!
How to make sautéed radishes
Sautéing radishes is really simple.
- Wash them – rinse them well in cold water. Radishes are a root vegetable so they may need a good scrub to remove any dirt.
- Keep the green tops – this recipe uses the edible green tops. After you twist them off make sure to give them a good rinse, too.
- Slice and sauté – simply slice the radishes in half and add them to your heated pan with a little bit of olive oil.
- Make a glaze – butter, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and a touch of sea salt makes a deliciously sweet glaze.
- Drizzle and enjoy – drizzle the glaze over the sautéed radish greens and that's it!
Choosing your radishes
When eaten raw, radishes can be quite zesty and crisp. Cooking them brings out their sweetness and milds the spice, which is one reason we love these sweet sautéed radishes.
Because of their strong flavor, radishes are an often overlooked vegetable. We love them because they're one of the first vegetables to come up in the spring. They make their appearance at the farmer's market or the local grocery store with their bright-colored skin and vibrant (and edible) green tops. They have a distinctly pungent and sometimes peppery flavor that will wake up winter tastebuds.
More conventional varieties found at the grocery such as cherry belle can have a lot of zing; others like french breakfast can be a lot milder. Less common varieties that you'll most likely see at the farmer's market will add a lot of color and are worth a try. Look for easter egg which can be white, pink, purple, or red, or watermelon radish, which looks much like a mini watermelon with white skin and purplish flesh.
Ingredients in sweet sautéed radishes
This recipe uses less than 10 ingredients, most of which you'll find in your pantry.
- Radishes – you can use any kind of radish but if they're available, other varieties like easter egg or french breakfast will add color and flavor.
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil is ideal for its flavor and health properties.
- Honey – raw, local honey will have the most flavor and nutrients but any kind of liquid honey works well. No honey? No problem. Maple syrup can be used as a substitute.
- White balsamic vinegar – this golden-hued version of balsamic vinegar is prepared much like regular balsamic vinegar but with a gentler, less syrupy flavor.
- Butter – this can be substituted for your favorite dairy-free alternative.
- Sea salt – sea salt is less processed than table salt and adds flavor and color.
- 2 bunches radishes (about 20)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey (can sub maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (can sub champagne vinegar)
- 2 teaspoon butter (dairy-free if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Twist the leaves off the radishes and wash them well. Thinly slice 3 radishes into rounds and set them aside. Then cut the remaining radishes in half lengthwise. Wash the leaves well, place them in a large bowl and set them aside.2 bunches radishes
- Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized cast iron or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, cut side down, to the pan. Sauté them for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown. Remove them from the pan and place them in the bowl with the radish greens – the heat from the radishes will wilt the greens.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the honey, white balsamic, butter, and sea salt to the same pan you cooked the radishes in and bring it to a boil over high heat. Cook for 1 minute, or until the glaze thickens slightly. Pour the glaze over the sautéed radishes and radish greens and toss well to coat.2 teaspoon butter, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Transfer the sautéed radishes and greens to a serving plate, scatter the thinly sliced radishes around the plate, and sprinkle the top with a little flaky sea salt.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
This recipe is part of our Best Spring Side Dishes series.