Thursday, August 22, 2013

Steamed Asparagus and Radishes with an Espresso Rose Spice Mix

We weren't sure what to expect when introducing our pig cat to his little sister - the puff cat.  Maybe he would take her under his wing (or paws, I suppose), and show her the ropes.  Or maybe he would be offended by her presence, thinking we were trying to replace him with a fluffier, tinier version.  Or maybe he would be sort of a bully, defending his territory against this miniature intruder.

Rambo chose to go with the latter of these options. The defending against a super tiny puff thing that looked more like a cottonball that an actual cat.  That was, apparently, the logical option.  Though in his defense, we do think JiJi can be a bit of a drama queen, reacting to offences that were never even made in the first place.  But I digress.

Sometimes, introductions can be weird.  Or awful.

These seemed like very likely outcomes when I introduced instant espresso powder, ground dried porcini mushrooms, and ground dried rose petals to some steamed asparagus and radishes.

It wasn't weird, or bad, at least to me!  The flavors combined to give a floral, sultry note to the veggies.  A generous douse of melted butter gave them a luxurious feel.  The spicy edge of the radish is tamed in the steam, playing quite nicely with the earthy flavors of the asparagus spears.  All in all, I would say the introductions went quite well, indeed.

And though Rambo and JiJi had a rocky start to their relationship, they get along quite well now.  Rarely are they found more than a couple of feet apart.

Do you also have the problem of being completely incapable of resisting the allure of radishes?  And then you bring them home and are like, oh wow, I'm totally sick of eating these alone as a snack, what else can I do with them?  Fear not! Cooking Light has a slideshow of recipes using those adorable little root vegetables!

1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
1 bunch radishes, leafy tops removed, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon ground dried rose petals
1/4 tesaspoon ground instant espresso
3/8 teaspoon vanilla salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch ground clove

Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add the asparagus spear on one side of a steam basket and the radishes on the other.  Place on top of the boiling water.  Remove the vegetables once they reach your desired tenderness (I did my asparagus for about 6 minutes and the radishes for about 8 minutes).

Whisk the melted butter and lemon juice, and pour desired amount over the steamed vegetables.  In a small bowl, stir together the ground mushrooms, ground rose, espresso, vanilla salt, black pepper, and clove. Sprinkle and toss with the veggies.


  1. We LOVE radishes! I even tried to grow them...but the result wasn't good at I kept buying them from our farmer markets.
    The espresso spice mix sounds really intriguing.

  2. Tasty looking radishes!

  3. Radishes are awesome :D
    Love it!


  4. I love this idea for radishes, never tried anything like it!

  5. What an interesting combination of seasonings! And I don't think I've eaten radishes anyway except raw...I think I need to expand my repertoire to include a steamed or sauteed version :)

  6. Cats are wonderfully weird. :D
    Espresso powder + rose petals!! I am loving this unlikely combo. (Radishes are one of my fav. veggies. Ever.)

  7. yummy,we love asparagus,we heart radishes and sprinkle vanilla sugar/salt in almost everything we bake...this seems to be a lovely combination of goodies to us...darn good,absolutely healthy and so confetti...perfect :-)


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