Sauteed Radishes with Vadouvan Curry and Almonds

Radishes -- and their tops -- get kissed with home-made vadouvan.
Radishes — and their tops — get kissed with home-made vadouvan.

Spice up your life.

It’s easy with “Spiced: Unlock the Power of Spices to Transform Your Cooking” by America’s Test Kitchen, of which I received a review copy.

With recipes for 47 different spice blends, plus 139 recipes, your taste buds won’t know what hit ’em.

Sure, it’s easy enough to buy jarred spice blends at the supermarket. But when you make your own, you can customize them to your exact specifications and taste. Plus, when you grind and mix your own from whole spices, you’ll get a fresher, more vibrant and pungent blend that can wake up any vegetable, poultry, meat or seafood just like that.

Learn how to make flavored salts, robust rubs (like “Jerk Rub,” spice-infused oils (such as “Chipotle-Coriander Oil,” and spice-steeped extracts (homemade “rose water”).

Then feast on everything from “Pan-Seared Steaks with Brandy-Pink Peppercorn Sauce” and “Juniper and Fennel-Rubbed Roast Side of Salmon with Orange Beurre Blanc” to “Rigatoni with Spiced Beef Ragu” and “Za’atar Finger Bread.”

“Sauteed Radishes with Vadouvan Curry and Almonds” tempted me because it’s a side dish that you can make any time of year. And once you make the vadouvan, a French curry blend, there’s only four other ingredients to the dish: radishes, butter, almonds, and salt.

How simple is that?

The vadouvan curry comes together in a jiff, too, as because it’s all blended in seconds in a spice grinder. It’s a mix of cumin seeds, yellow mustard seeds, cardamom, dried onion, turmeric, fennel seeds and cinnamon.

The resulting vadouvan.
The resulting vadouvan.

It’s a mild curry with a subtle onion-y note and lovely earthiness. You’ll end up with far more than you need for this dish. Just store tightly covered in a cupboard. The leftover vadouvan is especially delicious on cast-iron-seared or oven-roasted cauliflower. Just be sure to sprinkle or toss it on when the cauliflower is nearly done cooking. You want a few minutes in the oven or in a hot pan to toast the spices, but not so long that they end up burning.

I added about a half teaspoon extra of the vadouvan to the radishes because I like a stronger flavor. But if you prefer it more on the mild side, stick to the 1 1/2 teaspoons called for in the recipe.

Cooking the radishes tames their peppery bite while you still get to enjoy their al dente crunchiness. This recipe also uses the radish tops, so they don’t go to waste, but add a wonderful textural and color contrast. This sunny-hued dish is just buttery enough and possessed with warm spices that envelope you like a hug.

A great side dish to most anything.
A great side dish to most anything.

Sauteed Radishes with Vadouvan Curry and Almonds

(Serve 4 to 6)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

1 1/2 pounds radishes with their greens, radishes trimmed and quartered, with 8 cups of their greens reserved

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Vadouvan Curry Powder (see recipe below)

2 tablespoons whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are lightly browned and crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; transfer to a bowl.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add radish greens and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in radishes and season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Vadouvan Curry Powder

4 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 cardamom pod

5 teaspoons dried minced onion

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, cracked

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Process cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and cardamom pod in a spice grinder until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Stir in dried onion, turmeric, fennel seeds, and cinnamon

Adapted from “Spiced” by America’s Test Kitchen

More Curry Deliciousness: Lamb Shoulder Steak with Japanese Curry Oil

And: Tadashi’s Lamb Curry

And: Sir Lankan Black Curry Chicken

And: Broiled Fish with Lemon Curry Butter

And: Watermelon and Seafood Curry

Plus: Eggplant Curry

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