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Albanian Shepherds and Oven-Roasted Radishes

I love going on road-trips. Especially on gorgeously sunny days with the windows down and dear friends beside me.

One of my favorite road-trips of all time was through Albania. It was a wild, crazy adventure of unreadable maps, wrong turns, and roads that were little more than gigantic potholes strung together.

I loved it.

I got one of the window seats and happily leaned out of it for hours, capturing the people, animals, and landscape of this incredible country.

I was amazed by the ruggedly beautiful mountains ridged by rocky outcroppings and covered in wildflowers.

Best of all were the shepherds leading long trains of sheep along narrow trails. We watched them wend their way down the mountain, not one sheep toppling off.

Other shepherds sat out front of their makeshift tents, chatting amiably in the sunshine as their cattle nibbled grass nearby.

Such a wildly beautiful place.


As we climbed higher and higher I looked back into the valley, in awe of the mountain towering up behind us, its distinctive features disappearing in a haze of blues and greens.

I smiled as we rounded another bend, this time spotting a man leading a train of heavily-laden mules. I wondered where they were going. Where they came from. What was in those bags.

I also wondered what they were eating as they stopped for their midday break. Bread? Cheese? Homemade brew?

Reminiscing about these shepherds made me crave simple fare. Farm food. So today we’re eating oven-roasted radishes.

My dear friend Robin made them for me when I visited her recently. I don’t usually care for radishes with their peppery heat and almost aluminum after taste. But now I crave them.

Somehow roasting mellows the radishes, taking away their distinctive bite. And roasting the leaves is pure genius. They turn into light, crispy, salty bits of loveliness. I made two pans of these and Bear and I ate them clean in one day. They’re that good.

What is the best road trip you’ve ever taken?

Oven-Roasted Radishes


1 bunch radishes with greens, washed and dried
olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Separate radishes and cut in half. Place on baking sheet cut side down.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Roast 20-30 minutes until greens are crispy and radishes are golden brown on cut side.


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Krista - Thank you so much, Duchess! 🙂

Duchess - what extraordinary pictures! Look at that landscape! Just wow. 

Krista -  After visiting their country I can imagine they would be VERY tough, Lisa! It is a beautiful place but there is so much poverty. In parts I felt like I was in a Third World Country. Hopefully people will invest in Albania soon, and give them a chance to make things better.

War, Peace and Albania in Spring » Rambling Tart - […] time we trekked through the rugged hills far outside Tirana admiring mule trains and shepherds guiding their sheep along narrow mountain […]

Lisa - I know a few people from Albania and they are TOUGH!  What a gorgeous countryside with the shepherds making simple but delicious, fresh food.  Like everywhere you’ve been, would love to visit.  As for roasted radishes, LOVE them – much more so than eating them raw.  Another beautiful post! xo

Krista -  LOL! Yes ma’am, we are definitely nosy. 🙂

Krista -  Oh cool, Katie! I’m on my way to see what you did with them. 🙂

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef - I’ve never roasted a radish!  What’s wrong with me?  These look fantastic!

I loved the photos too.  I do the same thing – wonder what people are doing or eating or where they’re going.  We’re both nosy, obviously.

Katie@cozydelicious - Funny, I just posted about radishes too!  I have never roasted them, though.  I will have to try it!  I have so many cute littel radishes growing in my back yard.

Krista -  I’m so glad I could show you a bit of her country, Joanne. 🙂 There is much poverty and economic uncertainty, but so much beauty as well. The Albanians I met were so kind and jolly. I hope you like the radishes when they’re roasted. 🙂

Krista -  Isn’t it beautiful, Tuula? Sigh. I just loved it. 🙂 Hope you like the radishes!

Joanne - One of my coworkers is from Albania so reading this and seeing these photos is definitely giving me a little bit of insight into her life!  Beautiful.  I’m usually not such a fan of raw radishes but I’ve yet to encounter a veggie that I don’t LOVE when roasted. Have to try!

TuulaR - Sounds like a fantastic roadtrip Krista, and what gorgeous scenery 🙂 I really like this idea for radishes, will have to try it out… merci beaucoup !

Krista -  Yay! I hope you like them, Breanne. 🙂 I just ordered some heirloom radish seeds and am looking forward to trying numerous varieties. 🙂 2 weeks in a camper van with three boys in New Zealand?!! HOW FUN!! I bet you have some fantastic adventures to relate. 🙂

Krista -  That sounds absolutely wonderful, Sarah. 🙂 I would dearly love to visit Macedonia one day.

Krista -  Those are actually natural outcroppings, Mary!! Aren’t they fantastic? I’ve never, ever seen anything like it. 🙂

Krista -  I LOVE your descriptions of Greece, Val. 🙂 You speak of it with so much love and attention to detail. It’s marvelous. 🙂

Krista -  I would love to do the same, Melody. It’s a rainy day today, perfect for curling up with good mysteries in far off lands. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you, Neil! 🙂 It has that wild feel that I imagine Mongolia has. I’d love to see your pics sometime. 🙂

Krista -  Oh, I bet that was fantastic, Andi!! I’ve absolutely loved the places I’ve seen in Oz so far. 🙂

Krista -  Oh good, Bethany!! The leaves are my favorite part. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you SO much, El! You totally made my day with that suggestion. 🙂 I would love to do that one day. 🙂

Krista -  Oh good, Linda! Have you posted pics of Wales yet? I will have to pop over and see them soon. 🙂

Krista -  I hope you love them, Reesha! 🙂 xo

Breanne Mosher - I will definitely be trying roasted radishes this summer, what a great way to prepare them! And favorite road trip…..two weeks around New Zealand’s southern island in a camper van with Jared and two of his brothers. Unforgettable experiences and memories. =)

Sarah - I’ve never been to Albania but have climbed the Korab on the Republic of Macedonia’s side and met many Albanian Shepherds there. We  were lucky to taste the most wonderful goat cheese in one of the little huts at the bottom of the mountains. Beautiful pictures!

Mary Bergfeld - I have never thought to roast radishes! It sounds like a great idea. Your Albanian adventure sounds amazing. Are those hillsides terraced or are those natural rock outcroppings? Inquiring minds want to know :-). Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary 

bellini - When I made roasted radishes it described them as tasting like potatoes. They are distinct but it does mellow their flavour. My favourite road trip was winding through the mountains of Greece and exploring ancient pack mule bridges, out of the way monasteries and cobblestoned villages. As we wound our way through the Meteora I could imagine days past when each of the monasteries high on their outcroppings of rock called to each other with their chiming bells.

Neil1964 - luv those pics.  Albania looks wonderful. I’m goin to try those roasted radish’s.

Melody Goff - I love these pictures of Albania, Land of Mystery (to me). Makes me want to curl up and read a good mystery novel based in Albania. Thanks for the great idea for radishes, I have always felt like I *should* like them, but never have. I see them in my future! =)

Andi Perullo - Best road trip was around Oz! What awesome pics!!!

Bethany Bassett - Brilliant idea! Pretty much the only way I like greens is roasted, and this might make me a radish convert as well!

El - You really need to get a job working for National Geographic. I can’t believe the places you visit and the photos you take. They’re incredible. I’ve never roasted a radish before but will definitely give it a try.

LindyLou Mac - The walls  make an interesting comparision with my recent Welsh ones. 🙂

sheree - That’s a great idea for radishes!  I’ll have to try that… hugs…

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