A welcome, sure sign of spring each year in your market is brilliantly red, robust radishes attached to thick, abundant, perky greens. For gardeners, quick-germinating radishes are the first crop to break the weary, dreary winter soil. Radishes’ spicy, pepperiness is more in demand for North Americans now than in the past. This may be due to a greater consumption of chilies as Mexican foods become more and more popular. Radishes come by their spicy heat due to their relationship to the mustard and turnip families. And yes, it’s perfectly okay to put fresh radish greens in a spring salad to accompany the bright, snappy crispness of the radish root, itself.
Not always round, red and robust, there are many types of radishes, from the large, sometimes squash-sized white daikon radish to the gnarly black ones, or small round radishes in pastel colors and most popular, the robust bright red radish grown and consumed the world over.
Radishes were a well-established crop back in early Roman times, and most cultures include their pepperiness and cheery, bright color in many of their dishes, Europe to Asia. In fact, over in ancient Egypt, pyramid laborers were paid for their labors in many ways including onions, garlic, bread, beer and radishes.
Radishes contain little nutritive value.
Ideally, buy firm radishes fresh with vibrant greens and not the ones in plastic bags which can be old and mushy. Store radishes in crisper drawer of refrigerator. They are best used during the first week but may last for two weeks. Do not wash the radishes or their greens until just before using.
- Braised in butter
- Cottage cheese flavoring
- Fruit salads
- German potato salad
- Greek tzatziki
- Green salads
- Hors d’oeuvres
- Japanese tataki
- Korean bibimbap
- Stir fry
- Tea sandwiches
- Vegetable juice mixtures
Below are foodsites with radish recipes.