Tuesday, April 27

Solar Braised Radishes and Cucumbers

Solar Braised Radishes and Cucumbers

Here's what happened to my first radish harvest of 2010! Cooking radishes and cucumbers has not always been at the top of every American's menu when preparing vegetables for dinner. Well, thanks to the Food Channel, they're not just for salads, anymore. Be adventurous and check out these radish recipes. They're easy and will definitely get you started on a new cooking journey.

And, if you saw the movie Julie-Julia, you'll remember when she prepares braised cucumbers for her guests, so here's Julia Child's standard cucumber recipe to enjoy and expand on to your heart's content. 

I have my own recipe that varies a bit, depending on my main entree, so don't be afraid to experiment.  Radishes can be quite sharp in taste and cucumber seeds and skin will become bitter with cooking, but there's a solution (no pun intended) -- a salt water bath!

 Here's my recipe for Braised Radishes and Cucumbers.

  • Clean and slice radishes in quarters. (Leave the tail on, if you like) Clean, pare, de-seed, and slice cucumbers in quarters, then 2" sections. (cucumber seeds become very bitter when cooked. Ptui!) 

  • Cover with water and 1 teaspoon of salt; set aside for at least one half hour, or longer. Drain and pat dry.

  • Thinly slice 3 spring onion bulbs and part of the stem up to the dark bitter green part.

  • Preheat solar oven to 225F.

  • In large mixing bowl, combine radishes, cucumbers, and onions with 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper, 1 Tablespoon sugar/stevia, 1 Tablespoon dry cream, and 1/4 cup water.

  • Lightly grease baking pan. Pour ingredients over bottom of pan, as shown in top picture. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking.
Solar Cooking Experiment With Braised Radishes and Cucumbers
I thought I would try to reduce steam condensation on the oven door by placing two sheets of paper toweling across the top of the pan before putting on the SolarWear(tm) top. It sort of worked but needs lots of tweaking. Truth is, most of the condensation doesn't even show up until the end of the cooking cycle, unless you're doing an open top high-moisture vegetable braising. Only had to wipe once in the middle of the cooking, when I was stirring the vegetables.

You can see how the radishes tend to lose their bright red color. Stir the mixture in such a way that you're recoating all surfaces but also turning them over in the pan. At the end of the cooking, you have a beautiful dish of braised radishes and cucumbers. I like to serve them on a wide lettuce cup or inside a rice ring. What do you like to do?


  1. Hi Sharlene,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I really appreciate it! That recipe looks great. I'm sure that radishes and cucumbers cooked together must taste great. Thanks for the recipe. Its very colorful!


  2. What an interesting dish! I am making this for sure. But my radishes are nowhere near ready to harvest, so I gotta wait a bit.

  3. I have to admit that braised radishes and especially cucumbers never even entered my mind :-) :-) I didn´t think there would be anything left of the cucumber after a while. But I do have to try this now in the summer!
    Have a great day now!

  4. Wow, that's a combo I never would have thought of. I just may have to try it!

  5. I would never have thought of that combo. Looks pretty!

  6. WOW looks GREAt- I want to reach my hand through the screen!
    I forgot about that in the Julia movie!

  7. Oh goodie, a vegetarian recipe! :)

    I do like cooked radishes but have never cared for cooked cukes. I'll nibble on those radishes, though.

  8. thanks for stopping by. I am now following. I live at a place where all you can grow is lettuce. Oh well. Maybe i will have a greenhouse someday :)

  9. Thanks for stopping by on SITS Day (last week)!

    Your blog totally intrigues me..I am going to have to follow you.

    I have never done much with radishes...going to check out these recipes.
    504 Main

  10. I'm glad you all are willing to try this recipe. Braised radishes and cukes become a very light addition to a meal, similar to summer squash, so I try to keep the herbs and spices light.

    Welcome to all you new followers! So glad you're with us. Solar cooking is no different from any other method of cooking, except you don't have to PAY for it! It's really not just for campers and I'm really trying to get the attention of mainstream housewives and chefs.


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