So I’ve taken up vegetable gardening and recently harvested my first crop of radishes. I’ve been slicing them thin and throwing them in salads and sandwiches, shredding them to sprinkle on tacos and bean dip, and enjoying them dunked in all sorts of mixtures.
One of my favorites has been a very French snack using butter, anchovies, lemon, and parsley.
I know, I know – anchovies may not be your favorite, but let me politely suggest you give them a second try. First of all, they impart more of a salty flavor than a fishy flavor (and if you REALLY won’t try anchovies you can still make this recipe – just use salt instead!) and a small portion is all you need for just the right taste. If you need more convincing, here are some reasons why anchovies are nutritionally awesome.
ANCHOVY NUTRITION HIGHLIGHTS:
- Fats: Anchovies count as “oily” fish which are fish that are especially high in Omega-3 fatty acids. If you’ve been paying attention to dietary recommendations for heart health, oily fish is at the top of the list.
- Low mercury: The National Resources Defense Council categorizes anchovies in the lowest mercury category and considers them safe to consume.
- Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous: Anchovy filets contain tiny bones that are so soft you don’t even notice you’re eating them. The benefit of these bones is that they are full of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous which help you build strong bones and teeth.
- Sodium concerns: The easiest way to buy anchovies is in cans or jars, which means they are packed in oil or water and preserved with salt. This is nice because they’ll last a long time in your cabinet or fridge, but can be a problem for people watching their sodium intake. This recipe uses 2 anchovy fillets, which equals about 300mg of sodium in the full recipe. The RDA for sodium is 1,500mg. You can get rid of some of the excess salt by rinsing the filets or soaking them in cold water for 30 minutes.
For some of you, anchovies aren’t your beef with this recipe – its’ the radishes.
Many people I speak with aren’t sure about radishes. The taste is peppery, which often reads as spicy making them hard to enjoy on their own. But when paired with the salty, savory flavors in anchovy butter, they’re just perfect.
WHY YOU SHOULD LEARN TO LIKE RADISHES:
Radishes are members of the Brassica or Cruciferous vegetable family along with cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Vegetables in this family contain unique, cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates give radishes their pungent flavor due to the oils released when the plant is chewed or cut. These natural chemicals are thought to contribute to plant deference against pests and diseases and may help protect humans from disease as well.
In addition to cancer-fighting compounds, radishes are also a great source of vitamin C, which helps maintain heart health, strengthens blood vessels, and supports a healthy metabolism. High in fiber, radishes can support healthy digestion and promote satiety.
As you can see, this seemingly simple snack is packed with nutrition. Choose a good quality, grass-fed butter and you can’t go wrong!
- 4 Tbsp. (half stick) of grass-fed butter
- 2 anchovy filets
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. parsley
- 12 radishes, halved
- Blend butter, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley in a food processor until smooth. Taste and season with salt or lemon juice.
- Serve as a dip for radishes.