In praise of radishes & green beans

In my 21 things to do in 2021, thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from Alice Zaslavsky’s book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable.

Last week, I used two different vegetables. Actually, it was two weeks ago, which made up for me not making a recipe last week. How quickly time passes!

Radishes

The first vegetable was radish. I am not a big radish fan. I don’t like the texture or the flavour. It’s a bit too bitey for me, which is probably odd given my love of dark coffee and 100% dark chocolate. However, it’s in the book, so I have to use it.

I made the Herb-butter Glazed Radishes (page 190) to go with a roast. Alice says that the herb butter can be used with any roast veggies or on a steak, or even garlic bread. So I decided to do a roast beef and add radishes into the roast veg mix.

A bunch of radishes
Bright shiny radishes

There’s not much to this one. You roast the radishes, make up the herb and garlic butter and mix it through them for the last five minutes of roasting. I did forget to soak the radishes, which is apparently an essential step to remove any grit between the leaves, but there didn’t seem to be any so I was off the hook there.

Herb-butter Glazed Radishes from the book In Praise of Veg
Baked radishes

The only thing I really mucked up was that I only saw (and, therefore, used) one bunch of radishes in the fridge and there were actually two.

Fail? No way. An opportunity to make another radish recipe.

I totally meant not to use them.

Green beans

The second recipe was the Georgian Green Beans with Caramelised Onion (page 390).

Fresh green beans
Bright shiny green beans

This is another one of those recipes that is more of a side than a main course, and I decided to make roast chicken to go with it. Because the green beans had a different flavour to what I’d normally put with a roast chicken, I thought I should do something different with the roast chicken too.

So I picked out a sticky lime roast chicken recipe that features limes, chilli and coriander. I’m not sure why I thought this would go with a bean recipe that features fenugreek, and it didn’t. I think I saw coriander in both recipes so figured that was good enough.

Green beans cooking with onion and garlic
Cooking the beans

There’s a reason I don’t work as a banquet planner.

The recipe itself is very simple. Fry up some onions and spices, add the beans, garlic and red wine vinegar (this really adds to the dish) and let it cook while you do something else. Like try to reduce your lime glaze without burning the pan. . . . .

I liked this one. It had a beautiful aroma while cooking and it tasted great, even if it didn’t quite match the chilli lime chicken. I can imagine serving it as part of a big feast with lots of shared veggie plates.

I hope that not having a big rustic bowl to serve it in didn’t diminish the end product!

Georgian Green Beans with Caramelised Onion from the book In Praise of Veg
The finished dish
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