sauteed radishes and sugar snaps with dill

I realized something frightening over the weekend: I am so far behind on posting recipes we’ve auditioned over the last couple months, I could pretty much post every day for the next week and only just then begin to be almost caught up.

So, I decided that I would. I am going to post every single day for the next week. And look, I know you’re thinking: that it’s unseemly hot out and you’re in all likelihood either on a vacation or counting down to one and you honestly couldn’t care less about turning on a stove right now–and well, sadly, me too.

sugar snaps and orange juice

But that’s where these recipes will come in. They’re sides and light mains and good pot-luck fare and some relatively simple desserts and you know, the kind of stuff that you might get you rethinking your No Cooking Until September stance. I promise not to saddle you with any roasts or stocks or Things With Fourteen Ingredients. The last week of July is no time for noise like that.


The last week of July is the perfect time to go check out the farm stands because everything is finally hitting their stride. From some radishes and sugar snap peas, Alex and I made a quick saute with dill last month. I admit that despite loving dill, I was quite wary of a recipe that had a whole teaspoon of dill seeds in it along with a tablespoon of the fresh stuff–would it taste like a pickle? How would we taste the other vegetables at all?–but curiously enough, this large amount still lingered delicately in the background, and we loved the dish. It was everything a heatwave dinner should be–fresh, light and playing off everything you could buy in Union Square today.

sauteed radishes and sugar snaps with dill

One year ago: Classic Cherry Clafouti Last week, these same lovely folks sent Alex and me with another gigantic, too-good-to-be-true box of giant cherries and I was all set to make something new with them. And then. Well. I ate them. I’m not sorry.

Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2004

To remove strings from fresh peas, just snap off the stem end and pull string lengthwise down each pod.

Makes 6 servings.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
12 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, cook for one to two minutes, and radishes sauteing until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Add orange juice and dill seeds; stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped dill. Transfer to bowl; serve.

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55 comments on sauteed radishes and sugar snaps with dill

  1. A couple of months ago I figured out how much I like radishes… but I haven’t eaten any in about a month. It looks like I’ll be stopping at the farmer’s market tonight despite the heat!

  2. Melody C.

    Deb – I feel for your heat, humidity, and lethargic nature in the kitchen. My mom keeps me updated on her weather in upstate (2 inches of rain in an hour yesterday, lovely mud) but I’m FREEZING here in England. I’m sorry, 65 and mostly cloudy doesn’t cut it for summer in my dictionary! Where is my friend, the sun? This weekend I grilled twice, dodging the raindrops both times. Ok, done complaining. I do get lots of yummy fresh vegetables here, either at my local High Street weekly market or in my veg box delivery once a week. I’m looking forward to your posts this week, oven or stove on or off!

  3. Tal

    Thanks for that fresh light salad.
    On hot days like this I LOVE to eat cold, colorful dishes to refresh myself.
    Simple and lovely.:)
    I’m wondering about that added dill seeds..they remind me of that candy from my childhood..
    I think I’d throw in for myself some coriander leaves or dill leaves.:)

  4. I can’t WAIT for that many posts! I’ve been sadly uninspired and have made so many repeats in the past few weeks, my monthly posting has been sparse. I can’t wait for some new ideas…and I know my poor husband can’t wait either. He’s sick of leftovers and repeats.

  5. I’m more of a crafter than a cooker, but you’re making me want to learn how to whip up so many goodies.

    I found your site recently and I’m totally hooked. Always such wonderful presentations and useful info, it’s a pleasure to stop by.

  6. Audrey

    I am definitly looking forward to your daily posts, Deb. Having just discovered your blog last week, I’m totally hooked. I did the ribs yesterday and the chocolate sorbet on Saturday. Both yummie!
    Thanks for the inspirations.

  7. Ana

    oh, i just happen to have all the ingredients for this, after an early-morning run to the FM before everything wilted. can’t wait to try the recipe.

  8. E.J.

    Like snacking in the garden, but better. I’m gonna trust you in the matter of all that dill…which I love but in measured doses. Think this would work with fresh green beans about the size of haricot vert? Got no sugar snap peas, and I realize the beans won’t be as sweet, but they’ll work, won’t they? Well, of course they will. Rules are for sissies. Thanks for the lovely blog. It’s such fun.

  9. do you live in my refrigerator? because i got radishes AND snap peas AND fresh dill in my CSA this week, and i’ve had a total mental block when it comes to the dill. huzzah for this!

  10. Deb that looks gorgeous! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a radish before before but I’m inspired now on the prettiness factor alone. It’s winter here in Aus though so they’re probably not available? Maybe in a few months.

  11. Marie

    Deb — Simple Russian Radish salad:

    1 bunch of radishes
    sour cream
    fresh dill

    Slice radishes thinly, toss with fresh ground pepper, salt, dill and enough sour cream to coat. Heap artfully on pretty plate. Enjoy!

    A huge thank you to Alex’s mother for sharing her wonderful Russsian recipes with you, and you for sharing them with us. I’m so grateful.

    Now, about the boiling potato problem. Use Red potatoes for potato salad. Not Russet, please. Cut the pieces bigger. Leave the skin on. Let potatoes cool a little, then peel while still warm and cut into smaller pieces or slices. If using vinegar or dill pickle juice or any acid, pour it on the potatoes while still warm. For a more detailed explanation Google — Aki’s Kitchen: Technique: boiling potatoes — (have I spelt “potatoes” correctly?). Good luck!

  12. Victoria

    I have that knife and I love it! I use it for everything that needs to be cut or chopped in anyway.
    I used to have a similar knife, but one day I accidentally dropped it on the floor (at which point I shrieked and jumped as far away as possible to avoid getting the thing in my foot) and it broke in two. I kid you not – and this was a one-piece knife, no plastic or wooden handle whatsoever, and the blade just fell off.
    That made me sad. Buying a new knife made me happy. Chopping an onion for the first time with my new knife made me ecstatic, a feeling you probably shouldn’t feel because of a knife.

    Anyway, the salad looks delicious, and since I am also a huge fan of dill, I must try this.
    Looking forward to all those posts!

  13. Susan

    I love the colors and the idea of this dish, but I’ve never been a big radish fan. Does cooking the radishes mellow their flavor at all? Raw, they have a bit of a tinny-bitter flavor to me.

  14. Emily

    Yay! Posts every day this week — I can’t wait! Will try this recipe too, as I’ve got loads of sugar snaps in the garden…


  15. deb

    Susan — Yes, they definitely mellow. I don’t mind them raw, but they can sometimes sort of sting my mouth a bit (when they’re fresh) and it freaks me out. Cooked, they’re almost a different vegetable–more like the root vegetable they are.

  16. Hmm, orange juice was a surprise. This sounds great, but I’ll have to hit the farmer’s markets here to find ingredients. We had a June heatwave that sent all our peas and radishes to bolt very quickly.

  17. A tablespoon of fresh dill is a lot? Wow, that’s nothing in my book. Then again, I’m Swedish, and we do like our dill; take a look at the Gravad Lax-recipe on my blog, and you’ll see :)

    Anyway, if you like dill, try putting a large sprig (twig? what is the proper word here?) in the pot when boiling potatoes–gives them a lovely summery taste.

  18. You know, I have never been a big fan of radishes, but this looks super good and I have both the radishes and peas growing in my garden right now. How about a recipe using kohlrabi!!!!! I have them, no idea what to do with them!

  19. Susan

    You are a life (vege) saver! I was just panicking slightly about what to do with my nearly harvestable radishes and now they are saved from the garbage!

  20. Can’t wait to hear from you every day! This recipe looks awesome, and I’ve recently resolved to try radishes. I believe I may have had a bad encounter as a kid (akin to your “mouth burning” comment above), and never tried them again. I may do it tonight. My sweet non-planful husband just called and asked if I wanted him to pull lasagna out of the freezer to bake for dinner tonight. Uh, NO-OH! No way is that oven going on anytime in the near future!

  21. Gorgeous, fresh recipe Deb. I did exactly the same thing last week where Iposted every day with a new salad recipe. It certainly clears the backlog! Can’t wait to see what you have in yours.

  22. Pam

    So glad that you’ll be posting every day this week. Light summer fare is always welcomed in the DC heat. Thanks also for the info about the knives. Been looking to stretch my puny collection and heard Lynn Rosetta Kasper on the Splendid table mention Global Knives. From the two of you that is high praise indeed! p

  23. Oh my. That looks absolutely delicious but dill makes me gag, literally gag, I cannot even smell it, let alone eat it. I reckon I’m fortunate to live in a country that doesn’t appreciate it (zucchinis only fully arrived about 15 years ago or so), I’ve only ever seen it at the shop once and most people don’t know what it is, let alone what it’s cllaed in our mother tongue.

    But that looks delicious, and I’m a horrid cook who loves veggies and was so happy when I saw this photograph but I wouldn’t know how to begin changing dill for something else so as not to ruin it so I have decided to pout. So I am.

    [Could anyone help me with something, what is the bulky, bumpy veggie that’s a tuber and tastes gingery/pineappley and makes a lovely salad when grated and mixed with apple? I only ever knew the name in German I think but I forgot and I’d like to start lobbying for it. Well praying for it really.]

  24. I also made this veggie side last night, in addition to the nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart. My husband had just commented on how he liked radishes (I haven’t eaten a radish since kindergarten due to an unfortunate incident that I subsequently blamed on radishes). I’m always trying to find new ways to cook the vegetables he’ll actually eat and he rarely admits to liking almost everything in the produce section (and we’re vegetarians – oy!), so my ears perked up at his radish confession . Then wouldn’t you know, the next day I come to SK and there’s a radish recipe with his other fave vegetable, sugar snap peas! So since I was at the store getting the mascarpone, I got the rest of the ingredients for this side dish – and yay! we loved it. I love dill so I enjoyed both the seeds and fresh, but my husband asked for the seeds to be omitted on his next time.

  25. Jess in Astoria

    I made this last night after seeing that my crop-share of veggies contained these exact three ingredients. Smitten Kitchen didn’t steer me wrong – it was amazing. I’ve been trying to teach myself to like radishes, and I do think that this is the dish that succeeded.
    The dill, shallots and orange juice blend very nicely, with neither overpowering the other. Instead of a sharp oj or dill flavor, you get a silky meld of these basic flavors soaked into the radishes and coating the fresh beans (no peas for me).
    Thanks SK, it was fabulous and will go in next year’s summer rotation!

  26. Nicole

    I made this last night — delicious, but a little greasy! I’ll probably cut the butter and oil in half or even a third next time.

  27. Alexandra Vozick Hans

    please please keep your grammar on par with your beautiful photographs and excellent recipes…………

    Last week, these same lovely folks sent Alex and ME (not Alex and I)………!

  28. Jeff

    After reading the recipe for radish and snap peas, I noticed that the instructions were hard to follow. Though that I would check the comments for clarification. Does anybody here auctually try these recipies, or do you just “think” it will be good.

  29. Smeeshok

    I made this last night with kind of an asian kick – toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil, and served over some udon noodles with a bit of soy sauce. Delicious, people!

  30. Thank you thank you thank you! It may be winter but I am blessed to live in So Cal and just got a huge bunch of radishes and a giant bag of snap peas in my CSA box. I was under the impression I didn’t like either of these vegetables that much – until now!

    Made this to bring for lunch today, and with a brief reheat in the micro, I am a convert. Would never have thought of the orange juice. Genius!

  31. Vicki

    I have never really been found of radishes, but I ended up with a bunch w/ them from my farm share. I gave this recipe a try (substituting green beans for snap peas, what I had on hand) and really enjoyed it! The OJ was a great touch.

  32. I stumbled across this recipe a few days ago, looking for something new do to with radishes. I was a tiny bit skeptical, because there are just so many interesting things going on here, but WOW! It was really great! I saw a previous commenter mention that it was a little heavy on the butter / oil, so I just eyeballed my oil and did without the butter. Thanks!

  33. Doris Oliver Crawford

    I made this with zucchini, onion, baby spinach. The sautéed radishes added an excellent peppery flavour. Who knew ?