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We're not a huge radish-eating country here in the United States, and I think that's a mistake.

Radishes carry in their little bodies a tremendous variety of vitamins and minerals, so they're a smart addition to our five-a-day veggie eating, but the spicy flavor can keep many home cooks away.

In France, I learned to love radishes as common cocktail hour snack (or "aperitif"), eaten raw, smeared with a small glob of butter and a dash of salt. If that sounds a little crazy, I dare you to try it and tell me that the French are not the wisest radish-eating culture out there. Of course, falling in love with a veggie only when topped with creamy fatty butter isn't exactly a recipe for healthy eating, but it did get radishes on my radar, which led me to: roasting them.

If you haven't roasted radishes before, you are in for a surprise. The sharp flavor mellows into a sweet earthiness that is completely family-friendly. In fact, my four girls have love roasted radishes since they were toddlers, owing to the gorgeous shade of pink they turn in the oven. Radishes are delicious simply tossed in a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and then roasted until tender in a hot oven - about 20 minutes at 400 F. Or, add some minced garlic and dried herbs before cooking and then a squeeze of lemon before eating.

Today's recipe tops plain roasted radishes with a quick green goddess dressing made from Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill and parsley. Drizzle the dressing over hot radishes and serve as a side dish, or let the radishes cool to use as finger food to dip in the gorgeous herbaceous sauce.

ROASTED RADISHES WITH GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Servings: 6

Start to finish: 30 minutes

1 pound radishes, about 15, cut in half, lengthwise

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Green Goddess Dressing:

1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (about 1/2 a clove)

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)

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1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the halved radishes, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to coat. Pour the radishes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, about 20 minutes (no need to flip). Meanwhile, place all the dressing ingredients into a blender and blend just until mixed, but a few green flecks remain, about 20 seconds. (The recipe makes extra dressing.)

Serve the radishes warm or room temperature with about half of the sauce — either drizzled on top, or served in a small bowl as a dip.

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Nutrition information per serving: 38 calories; 19 calories from fat; 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 1 mg cholesterol; 274 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 1 g protein.

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Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, "Supermarket Healthy."

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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