Roasted radish salad


Four handmade invitations for an end-of-the-school-year sleepover are on my desk. Each has a Sharpied drawing of a girl in a sleeping bag with a phrase near her mouth, like “ZZZZ” and “YAWWWWN.”

The adults haven’t weighed in on the idea yet, or even looked at the calendar. But whether a sleepover happens or not, I love looking at these. They pull at something. Our oldest may be a tween, but she’s still cute in ways that make me smile when she isn’t looking.

The school year is just about over and the kids are ending up out in the yard a lot, making the shapes of letters with their bodies in the grass or appropriating the corner of the front yard with the benches and the huge maples.

“Nostalgia for the present” is the inadequate phrase that comes to mind. Inadequate because it’s too achey to describe it. It’s more acute than that to watch your kids grow up. There’s more elation. More pain. It’s not nearly so gauzy. (Gary Kamiya drills pretty close to the center in this article.)

She won’t drop invitations on my desk again. Next summer, outdoor play will look a little different. What’s happening now, more than an inflated memory of what it was like to parent toddlers, is what I miss already. I’ll yearn for it every day, as it’s happening, through the end of this long, rich season.


Other than pantry staples, the salad I made today had only one ingredient.

My friend Amy, always one to serve a beautiful meal, told me during a recent visit that she roasts radishes. This was good news. I love radish greens but the bulbs have too much sting for me. Roasting them takes out the bite and transforms the flavor. Now that I know this, I’ll actually eat radishes instead of stockpiling our CSA bunches in the fridge. Next I’ll try this flatbread.

I cut the radishes into sixths (the larger ones into eighths) and roasted them the way I do all vegetables, tossed in oil and salt and spread on parchment in a 400° oven. It took about 15 minutes for them to soften and bubble. I tossed them twice.

Cutting greens is much faster than tearing them and the edges are only in danger of browning if you don’t eat them right away. Of course a radish salad can’t wait so I cut the radish leaves into large pieces and tossed them with oil, salt and balsamic vinegar before arranging the roasted radishes on top.

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8 thoughts on “Roasted radish salad

  1. Love that phrase: nostalgia in the present. Makes me choke up all the time. My boys are huge teens sliding from the first years of highschool to the last. We are counting days and months of their daily presence – not years. I am happy and sad each moment, not knowing how to stop time – and loving them beyond words. Sigh. Thanks for sharing Jenni.

    • You put it so well, sliding into the later high school years. Yes, we’ll be there soon too. Thank you for reading and sharing your own simultaneous sadness and desire to hold on. What a ride, right?

  2. Jenni, I’m swallowing a lump in my throat. My older son is graduating from high school this week and I am on a roller coaster of emotions. I’m savoring every second with him still here before he leaves for college. I want to hold on and at the same time let go to see him flourish even more. Sigh…

    I love the homemade invites for a sleepover – so sweet and wonderful! Enjoy!

    • My heart is with you, Hannah! That’s such a big occasion, a big transition, a big thing to navigate. It will be happening to us, too. So very soon. Much love to you all. Ach – the letting go is so hard. xox

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