Ed Smith’s warm radishes with anise

The chef shares a recipe from his new book, which celebrates the humble side dish

Image: Joe Woodhouse

Too often, side dishes are an afterthought to a meal, rustled up at the last minute when the cook realises he or she has neglected to add any greens to the plate. Ed Smith’s new cookbook, On the Side (£20, Bloomsbury), is set to change that, making sides the stars of the show.

Divided into categories including ‘Greens, leaves and herbs’ and ‘Roots, squash and potatoes’, the book is full of easy-to-follow recipes that will make your dishes as colourful as they are nutritious. There’s also a useful recipe directory designed to help you identify the perfect accompaniment to your main. Here, Smith shares a radish-based side dish that he recommends serving with braised rabbit, baked white fish, a blue-cheese omelette or a roast rib of beef.

Warm radishes with anise

Serves 4–6

The fact that you can cook radishes may surprise some, but once warmed briefly, they become juicy and their pepperiness mellows. For the latter reason, 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.


300g French breakfast radishes, leaves removed
20g butter
4 tbsp Pernod
Leaves from 7–8 stems tarragon, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of ½ orange
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 it has melted and is nearly frothing, add the Pernod. Let it reduce for 10 to 20 seconds, then whisk in a tablespoon of water. Add the radishes and cook for three to four minutes, 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 extracted from ‘On the Side’ by Ed Smith (£20, Bloomsbury)



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