I tend to err in favor of undercooking.
With a lower heat, I can pay a little less attention to what's going on in the kitchen; and if something is really crunchy, as opposed to simply al dente, I can always chuck it in the microwave for half a minute. There's really no way to rescue something that's scorched.
So my Tuesday experiment was quite out of character for me. I had a lovely pot roast ready to serve, but I also had a new produce box. The pot roast was free of veggies, except for an onion, because the piece of chuck was so dang big.
My produce box provided carrots (6), beets (2), and radishes (5). I decided to go ahead and cook those up. I cut the carrots into chunks of approximately equivalent volume, sliced the beets, quartered the radishes, and went to town.
My usual treatment would have been to cook them relatively slowly, in our biggest skillet (the non-paella pan) over medium-low heat. But I was hungry, and that pot roast was smelling good. So I put the roots in a smaller pan with a tight-fitting cover - with two pats of butter, about an ounce of good sherry, and generous dashes of dried thyme, tarragon, and chervil - over full medium heat.
Ten minutes under the lid and they were already well toward cooked; the sherry had boiled off and the roots were just starting to brown. I added some water, stirred everything up well, put the lid back on and gave it another 15 minutes.
When the timer went off I was in the middle of a thing, plus there was a cat on my lap, so it took me a couple of minutes to extricate myself. I could smell the sugars in the roots caramelizing. When I scurried into the kitchen, they were just on the edge of scorching. They were perfect. Tender and very tasty indeed. I served them with a sprinkle of crumbled gorgonzola. YUM.
What I learned from this was very useful. First, that a higher heat (than I usually employ) was needed to achieve caramelization. And second, that I could save fifteen to twenty minutes - without appreciably adding to attention paid - and still get good results.
Something I want to add. I had never cooked radishes before I started getting them in my produce boxes. I had never even eaten them, to my knowledge, in any preparation except sliced raw in a salad. But don't fear the radish. I have learned that all roots go together. At least, for my palate they do.
Radishes cook a little faster than something denser like a carrot or a beet, so don't cut them too small. They are faintly peppery, but also a bit sweet, with a high water content. They are good for you. Love the radish!