First off, it would never have occurred to me to roast a radish, never mind blend together butter and blue cheese to put on it afterwards as a sauce. Apparently, blue cheese butter is a common sauce for steak. That is probably the rub: not much steak being eaten around here. I bumped into this dish at a restaurant in Greenfield, Mass., a couple weekends ago when I went to give a talk at Historic Deerfield.

The restaurant is one of those trendy places that buys its vegetables in season from local growers, and then has to figure out what to do with stuff like a big pile of radishes. The radishes themselves were pretty interesting. They were called watermelon radishes, had a green outside and pink center, quite large, and were very good tasting, not sharp. The restaurant chunked them up and roasted them in the oven until they were just tender and served them with the blue cheese butter melted all over them. Talk about delicious!

I came home determined to try this butter out on other vegetables I have on hand, because I don’t happen to have big radishes. Though when I finally do, I am definitely going to give it a try. The butter is very nice on roasted rutabagas, turnips and even potatoes. I bet it is good on beets. I bet it is good on steak, too, but that is for another time.

Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest, best ways to fix vegetables quickly and deliciously. Turn the oven on high — 450 degrees — peel and cut the root vegetables into one inch chunks or slices, toss with oil on a roasting pan, and put them in the oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes, checking after ten minutes to flip them over. That’s it. (Potatoes come out as tasty as French fries. You can even cut them into wedges or into conventional French fry shapes.)

Blue Cheese Butter

Makes four to six servings

½ cup (one stick) of butter, softened

⅓ cup of blue cheese, crumbled

12 teaspoons of Dijon style mustard

Put the ingredients into a bowl and mash them together until it is all well blended. Store in the refrigerator until you need to use it, then merely scoop up what you need as garnish for the vegetables, allowing it to melt over them. Or if you wish, melt the butter and add the mustard and blue cheese to it, swirl it with a whisk or spoon and pour over the hot roasted vegetables.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. Email: For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...