Thursday, June 23, 2011

Black radish chips

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Once a month a group of food bloggers gets together in Los Angeles. We call ourselves FBLA (Food Bloggers Los Angeles - okay, we're not super creative) and usually meet at someone's house. We gab, ask each other for advice, and then settle into a circle to talk about a specific topic: how to boost our traffic, food photography tips, how to work with PR people, how to translate food blogging into making money, etc.

We do potluck, and we bring our cameras. Everyone makes something from his or her blog, and everyone else takes pictures of it. It's a great chance to write about someone else's food for a change, and we always have lots of interesting flavors on the table.

Last month Nancy Eisman, who writes the blog Adventures with Nancy Rose, brought a few cases of exotic produce from Melissa's, the gourmet produce distributor she works with. Each of us took a little of this, a little of that. I was fascinated by the black radishes, which I'd never seen before. Sliced raw, it tasted more like a turnip than a radish. Truthfully, it was a little too strong and woody for me.

But after the food bloggers left I did a little research and discovered that black radishes are a) popular in Russia and France, b) often grated raw and mixed into salads or yogurt, or b) cooked. I particularly liked the slice-thinly-and-roast treatment I found on Chocolate and Zucchini, a food blog I read regularly (mostly because she's French - that gives her a lot of food cred with me). A bit of olive oil, a little while in a hot oven, and these black radish chips were out of this world. And beautiful to look at, too - black edges, white flesh, beautiful wagon-wheel pattern.

Most root vegetables work well with this method, including beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots and kohlrabi. Don't overdo the oil and be generous with the salt.

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Black radish chips
Black radishes have a strong, turnip-like flavor that lends lots of character to these oven-roasted chips. Look for black radishes in gourmet produce shops.
  • 1 pound black radishes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Scrub the black radishes well, then slice them thinly (a mandoline works best). Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil and salt so that all the slices are coated. Spread the radish slices in a single layer on two baking sheets.Bake the radish chips about 20 minutes, until they are brown in spots and getting dry and crisp. Remove from the baking sheets and sprinkle on more salt if desired. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings


Valentina said...

I've never used black rasishes -- so interesting! Roasting them like this seems like a perfect way to add some sweetness. They look beautiful and delicious! And now I'm even more excited to come to my first FBLA meeting this weekend! :-)

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious said...


Sarah said...

What do you think about trying this with small white turnips or regular red radishes? I would love to find a way to use my farm share in a way my family will eat it too!

Erika Kerekes said...

Sarah - I've never tried it with either. I would expect turnips to work better than radishes only because they're less watery. But let us know!

BonnieBanters said...

I love various vegetable chips and buy packaged at the store...often very pricey. Thank you for sharing an oven-baked recipe for root vegetables...a healthy alternative to regular packaged chips! My husband used to make microwave potato chips in a special gadget for the microwave and they were good...these oven-baked ones sound even better (prob because they have a little oil which would help retain the S&P).

Also, I would love to hear (I'm sure along w/others) your food blogging tips!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

I've never even HEARD of black I'll be on the lookout for them. Thanks!

The Cilantropist said...

Wow these sound so neat, I can find black radishes from Suzies here in San Diego, but I have alwasy been a little intimidated to try them. Kudos to you for doing research and trying this great recipe!

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