James Beard Award Shortlist + Honey Roasted Radishes
This week I heard the news that my first book A Modern Way to Eat has been shortlisted for a James Beard award over in the US, in the company of some amazing chefs including my old boss Jamie Oliver and the brilliant Yottam Ottolenghi. I’ve been following the James Beard awards for years and have been inspired by the nominees whose book have taken me all over the world in my hackney kitchen and taught me a huge amount.
The brilliant Beard may be an unfamiliar name to some in the UK but in the US, the Beard Foundation is widely known as a prestigious organisation, set-up to celebrate the life, work and hospitality of the characterful food writer, TV presenter, and general food–adorer. The association organises awards, for chefs and writers alike, and offers scholarships to those aspiring to work in the profession.
To celebrate, I’m sharing a spring-fresh recipe. Radishes are one of my favourites. I love their shock of pink in a salad, and just straight up their peppery crunch is so good with a little good sea salt. Roasting radishes turns them into something new – it mellows their punch, and they turn the most beautiful cerise colour. I roast mine with honey and some lemon juice.
Radishes are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. They have made a mini- comeback in recent years, showing up on restaurant plates with good butter and salt as a fresh start to a meal. I almost always have them in my fridge. Their tops can be eaten too, and contain even more vitamins than the roots. I sauté them with spinach, lemon and olive oil or toss them through a green salad. My favourites are two-toned breakfast radishes, but any variety will do well here.
Don’t waste the tops, as they can be tossed through the roasted radishes to pep them up and provide a beautiful contrast to the neon pink. Be sure to give them a good wash first, though.
HONEY ROASTED RADISHES
2 bunches of radishes, with their tops
a good pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
juice of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7.
Trim the leaves from the radishes and give both leaves and radishes a good wash. Put the leaves to one side for later. Halve the radishes and tumble on to a baking tray with a good pinch of salt and some olive oil, then drizzle over the honey or syrup and squeeze over the lemon juice. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until just softened and starting to brown.
Take the radishes out of the oven and toss them with the radish tops and a little more good olive oil, then taste and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.