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What To Do With a Daikon Radish and Whole Food’s Pancetta and Pesto Souffle

2009 November 10

Another sunny day, I can’t believe it. It’s kind of taunting me though, saying “look how pretty I am today, you should come out when you can” and then just when I think I can, it says “just kidding, I’m outta here sucker!”

Come 4PM, the evening begins its descent into night so that when my husband comes home, it’s dark. Taunting also because I want to go out with him and enjoy the day but it’s as good as gone. During the “sunshine hours,” as I call them, I am doing my daily routine by the large front windows watching the world go by in town. I suppose I should feel fortunate because he doesn’t see the sun for nearly 6 months. He leaves for work slightly before 5:30AM and arrives home 12 hours later with over 40 miles driven in a day on country roads that could use some loving care. He was used to driving quite a few miles to work while we lived in Indiana but not a 12 hour day without sunlight. I think he gets by because he knows it will not be this way for an extended period of time; we will move on.

I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations, the Current, yesterday when the Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová with the Frames) concert was announced. I was not aware of this and immediately looked into tickets… like the Ray LaMontagne tickets, too expensive for us. Ray was just here I believe and I missed him- again. I am trying to figure out how to get a hold of two tickets for the Swell Season December 5th concert, wish me luck. Next year will be Ray!

Greg brought home a huge daikon radish from a coworker. I won’t tell you the exact words I used to describe it or what Greg commented but I will just say it’s huge and think elephant when you look at the picture (hehe). I have no idea what to do with this radish. We could snack on it for a few years, I could cut snowflakes from it and place them around the apartment, maybe whittle a cane…any ideas?

daikon radish

I was searching the Whole Foods recipes when I came across a simple souffle with pancetta and pesto that sounded wonderful. I used a traditional basil pesto but you could use a number of different kinds of pesto to get off the traditional track. I have a few pesto recipes on this site.

Whole Food's Pancetta and Pesto Souffle

Whole Food’s Pancetta and Pesto Souffle
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
Butter or oil for the baking dish
6 large eggs
4 oz. pancetta
1/2 cup pesto (recipe below)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pesto:
3 cups basil leaves
½ cup Parmesan
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
½ to 3/4 cup olive oil
Salt/pepper

Pesto: Place all but the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until combined and then add olive oil and pulse again to desired consistency.

Preheat oven 350. Butter 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or a 1.5-quart dish. Separate egg yolks from egg whites and allow both to come to room temperature. In a sauté pan over medium heat, fry pancetta until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, chop finely and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together pesto and egg yolks. In a saucepan, heat milk to a simmer and whisk in cheese until melted add flour and pepper (will thicken immediately). Pour into pesto/egg mixture and whisk until combined. Allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites and pancetta into pesto mixture. Do not overwork or the egg whites will deflate. Spoon batter into ramekins or souffle dish and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and golden, 18 to 25 minutes for the ramekins, 30 minutes for the souffle dish. A thin knife inserted in center should come out just slightly moist. Serve immediately, souffles deflate quickly.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. November 10, 2009

    I make pickles out of the radish or I use it in stirfrys. I’m so lame.

    • November 10, 2009

      I don’t think it’s lame, I was thinking of doing that. I was hoping for a magical recipe that would use all of this huge beast.

  2. Stella permalink
    November 10, 2009

    My mom makes a broth from beef bones. (I’m Chinese, by the way.) She does this every few Sundays. This is what she taught me:

    Take a pot and boil up some water. Throw in the bones and boil until scum rises to the surface. Discard the water and rinse the bones (here my grandma would take an extra step and scrub the bones, but my mom uses store-bought shanks with meat still on them), and return them to your biggest soup pot filled with cold water. ut in some sliced ginger and whole scallions (to counter the “bloody” gaminess of beef–I’m not sure how to describe it, but it might just be a Chinese food thing), and bring the pot to a boil again. Now simmer for “an entire afternoon.” My mom usually starts the broth around two or three in the afternoon, after she gets back from grocery shopping, and then by dinnertime it’s ready.

    As for the daikon radish… She cuts it into 2-inch pieces (approximate) and puts them in the broth. Unfortunately I don’t quite remember at what point in the whole process they go in, but I do know that by the time the broth is served, the daikon chunks are easily pierced by a chopstick.

    In our family we usually have three “entree” dishes on the table as well as a big tureen of “soup” (broth). And of course we eat all this with rice.

    • November 10, 2009

      Thank you, I will have to try that. I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out dishes for this thing.

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