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Butter-Braised Radishes

Updated: 7/25/22 7:59 pmPublished: 5/17/21

By Catherine Newman

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 3 grams per serving

If you’ve only ever eaten radishes raw in all their crunchy, pungent sharpness, then you’ll be surprised by how tender and caramel-sweet they get when you cook them like this. You’ll be especially pleasantly surprised if you don’t even like them raw. It’s kind of a revelation. The recipe is spectacular with early-season bunched red radishes, but the truth is that it’s pretty forgiving, so if you have a bag of slightly dinged-up radishes, those will be delicious too, as will a peeled daikon cut into thick half-moons.


1 tablespoon butter

2 bunches of radishes, roots and leaves trimmed off, washed, and halved (they don’t need to be dry)

½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar or whatever vinegar you have)

Black pepper

Chives or other chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or tarragon, for garnish (or skip this)


  1. Heat a large-ish pan over medium heat, then add the butter and heat until it’s foamy.

  2. Put all the radishes into the pan cut-side down, overlapping as little as possible. Sprinkle with the salt.

  3. Cook until the undersides are browned, around 7 – 10 minutes. If the radishes are very wet and/or juicy, you may need to turn the heat up so that they fry and brown without simply steaming.

  4. Flip them over and let them cook on their rounded sides for a minute, then turn them all back cut-side down, add the vinegar, and cook just until the vinegar has reduced to a sticky glaze, around another minute or two.

  5. Grind some black pepper over the radishes, sprinkle on the herbs, and serve hot or warm. (I eat them cold too, to be honest, but the butter is inclined to congeal a little.)

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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