Warm radishes with anise

by Ed Smith

Ed Smith gives us a taste of his new cookbook, On the Side—a sourcebook of inspiring side dishes

The fact that you can cook radishes may surprise some, but once warmed briefly, they become juicy and their pepperiness mellows. Because of the latter, it’s important to use good-quality French breakfast or heirloom radishes here, otherwise there’s not much flavour in the finished dish—though of course the anise from the Pernod and tarragon will be there.

Braised rabbit, baked white fish and blue cheese omelettes are among my favourite things to eat with this. Oh, or a roast rib of beef.


300g French breakfast radishes, leaves removed
20g butter
4 tbsp Pernod
7–8 stems tarragon, leaves removed and roughly chopped
Zest of ½ orange, finely grated
Sea salt


First, wash the radishes thoroughly. Cut most of them in half lengthways, leaving only the very small ones whole.

Put the butter in a medium saucepan or frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is nearly frothing, add the Pernod. Let it reduce for 10-20 secs, then whisk in 1 tbsp water. Add the radishes and cook for 3-4 mins, turning them frequently in the buttery liquid.

Remove from the heat, add the tarragon, stir and immediately transfer to a serving bowl. Season with salt and the orange zest and pour any cooking juices over the top.

Recipe: Ed Smith 
Joe Woodhouse