These easy-to-make roasted radishes and Brussels sprouts side dish is drizzled with lemon brown butter and screams springtime! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Our apartment smells like Spring. I’m not talking about a wafting smell of rhubarb or early strawberries or fresh cooked sugar snap peas. I’m talking about the fact that we finally were able to open our windows, after a miserably rainy season of wintertime cold, and breath the fresh air. We haven’t turned on the heat in a few days, and as I worked away in the kitchen, I opened the door to let in a little bit of Springtime light. And that’s when it hit me, Spring is here, at least in San Francisco, and I’m embracing it head on.
It’s funny how much weather can drastically impact your mood. I’m not one to severely suffer from seasonal affective disorder; at least not more than that average person. But there’s something to be said about the bright sunlight and outdoor air that will put me in a good mood. And with the fresh air (as fresh as you can get in a major metropolitan city like San Francisco) I found myself heading to the grocery store to pick up some Spring produce.
Radishes aren’t my usual go-to Spring vegetable. I tend to gravitate toward asparagus or sugar snap peas (or rhubarb if I can find it, though it’s still a little too early for me to find here). But when I saw the various different types of radishes at the store, including Watermelon, purple and Easter egg, I knew I had to pick up a bunch. Their sharp peppery bite is great in salads and as a vehicle for my hummus.
But when you roast radishes, that peppery bite mellows and softens into an earthy rich buttery treat. Paired with a nutty roasted Brussels sprouts and a drizzle of lemony brown butter, one bite had me realizing that Springtime was truly here. Longer days, shorter nights, and short sleeve t-shirts. I’m ready.
What the differences between the radishes at the store?
Like all vegetables, radishes come in all shapes and sizes. The most common ones are the red radishes, with a peppery bite, the French breakfast radish which sounds and looks fancy with their cylindrical shape and crisp texture and Easter Egg radishes. Easter egg radishes bunch, which are basically the “rainbow carrots” of radishes, are actually a mix of pink, white, purple, and red varieties which lend a bright mix of colors to any dish. I also have a fondness for watermelon radishes, which, like their namesake, is colored white-ish green on the outside and pink on the inside and are less peppery and milder in flavor than the traditional red radish. You can find them at upscale grocery stores and farmer’s markets when they are in season.
Whatever radish you choose to use, be sure to cut them into roughly the same size for roasting. This will keep help them cook at the same time. I try to cut the Easter egg radishes in half, while quartering and even cutting the larger radishes (like the watermelon one) into 6 pieces.
How to make brown butter
After roasting the radishes and the brussel sprouts, you can drizzle lemony brown butter over the vegetables. Brown butter is easy to make, but can run the risk of burning. If you have never made brown butter before, pick a silver or light-colored skillet so you can see the color of the butter fat as it browns. Cook the butter in the skillet, and remove the pan from the heat the moment you see the butter fat start to brown and smell the nuttiness. The residual heat will continue to cook and brown the butter. If the butter isn’t brown enough for your taste, you can always return the pan to the stove and put it on a low heat, nudging the butter to a toasty golden brown. But if you take it too far you’ll have to start over again, as the butter will taste burnt.
What if you hate brussels sprouts?
We can’t be friends. Just kidding! No problem. You can always just double the amount of radishes in this dish and still have a great dish. Or try cutting the same amount of carrots or another root vegetable and using that in its place of Brussels. But if you’ve never had roasted brussels sprouts, give them a chance before dismissing them. The high heat roasting gives them a nuttiness while the brown butter brings out the sweetness in them. Also consider buying smaller sprouts, as they tend to be younger and sweeter than the larger sprouts.
Want more Brussels Sprouts recipes?
- Brussels Sprouts and Halzenuts with Sesame Orange Honey Glaze
- Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Candied Pecans and Parmesan
- Brussels Sprouts Salad with Fingerling Potato Seasoned with Caraway Seeds and Juniper Berries
- Bacon Carbonara Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter
- 1 pound radishes any kind, (about one bunch)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and remove the greens from the radishes (if they are still attached). Cut the radishes into roughly uniform size. Cut the Brussels sprouts into roughly the same size as the radishes. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and then sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Toss to coat.
Pour the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 18 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender, and the Brussels sprouts start to brown and char a bit.
While the vegetables are roasting, place the butter in a medium size skillet. Cook the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter fat particles just start to brown and it smells nutty. Remove from heat and continue to stir to let the residual heat continue to cook the butter until it is golden brown. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the butter and stir in.
Once the vegetables are done roasting, plate them on a shallow dish. Drizzle the lemony brown butter over the vegetables, add more salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle some chopped radish greens over the entire dish if you have them. Serve immediately.