Garden Friday – Eating Radishes

As I mentioned earlier, I often inter-crop radishes with carrots and parsnips.  They come up quickly and help identify the rows of the slow germinating carrots and parsnips.  The are ready to be pulled about a month after planting… just as the carrots are putting down a taproot and need the soil loosened.

I grew up with radishes – my dad loves their spice and crunch and it helped the kids not get bored with the garden – and love them as one of the many goodies in a salad.  But, surprisingly my husband – who also loves spice – isn’t that big of a fan.  So how to prepare radishes?  Especially when you literally have a hundred of them ready within a week or two?

I recently went to a potluck where they were thinly sliced with cucumber slices in a vinaigrette.  This preparation, although not foreign since I always eat my green salad with a vinaigrette, was new to me; it seemed to take some of the spicy bite out.  I googled to see if I could find a recipe – not that I follow recipes, I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a critical ingredient – only to find that you can also make soup with the usually bitter greens!  And apparently, radish greens have even more vitamin C, various B vitamins, and calcium than the already amazingly vitamin C packed (15% of your daily intake in 1/2 cup!) roots.  Who knew?  Although when I stopped and thought about how they are a mustard-cabbage family veggie, totally made sense.

So, for two meals this week I’ve made a crunchy salad out of radishes, carrots and the last of my pea pods in vinaigrette.  I plan on making a soup tonight out of the tops I’ve saved.

The basic soup with lots of variations always seems to be something like this –  saute an onion or leek and 2 potatoes in a couple of Tbl of butter or olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups of broth (chicken) or water and 1-2 bunches of greens (this seems to be 2-4 cups of greens) and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Blend and add some sort of cream, milk, or yougurt if desired and salt & pepper to taste.

How do you prepare radishes?  Do you use their greens?  Anyone want to mess around with a soup recipe with me?

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9 responses to “Garden Friday – Eating Radishes

  1. zaissa July 15, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I only recently discovered they were edible! (Only kinda a joke).

    I planted some last year that made their appearance this year and my 9 year old informed me she loves them. So she’s been poppin’ them like candy. I tried a few and it turns out, they taste OK.

    I would love to hear ideas on incorporating them into soup.

  2. mfranti July 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Good post, Nicole.

    I’ve grown radishes because they’re easy and I had the seed, but I never eat them. I’m happy to hear from others about recipes too.

  3. Kristine N July 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Huh. I used radish leaves as a substitute for another green in a Mexican recipe once and wasn’t impressed. I may have to try soup, though it’ll have to wait until later in the season.

  4. Karmen July 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I grew up eating radishes and now I grow them ritually every spring — first thing planted. I had no idea that the greens were even edible though! I thought they were too pokey 🙂

    Does anyone know if they will bolt if planted now (in Utah)?

  5. margie July 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I have a weakness for radish sandwiches. I just slice them and put them on bread. I don’t use any mayo or mustard or butter. I know it sounds weird, but I love them. If I have some time and inclination, I cut some bread in small rounds and top with a coupla slices of radish for a snack or an appetizer.

  6. betty jo July 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I always liked the idea of marking the carrot rows with radish. Except, I’m the only one in the family that likes them, and even only that in small doses. My solution has been to replace radish with Japanese Turnip as markers. I use Hakurei and Tokyo cross varieties. Like Radish, these are 30 day wonders – from seeding to harvest. Except, they are what you’d like radish to taste like – crisp, juicy, sweet and slightly tart at the same time. I pick at 1 inch diameter, wash, then roughly chop the greens, and slice the turnips into a couple of slices each. Heat a TBS or two of oil, with a couple of thin slices of ginger root. When the oil is hot, toss in the turnips, stir fry a minute or two, then toss in the greens. Sprinkle with salt (to draw the juices out), stir fry another minute or so until the greens have wilted.

    That’s it.

    Tho I’ve never tried, perhaps this quick stir fry might work with radish.

  7. Karmen July 18, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Bettyjo – are your Japanese Turnips the same as a Daikon? The Daikons stir fry well and give a snap to the other veggies.

  8. Janet July 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    They’re decent eaten as a first course with just butter and salt, eating the greens as well. Sadly I can’t eat them, but my folks eat tons. My mum preserves them for a month or so sliced in vinegar with sliced cucumbers and a pinch of pickling spice, then eats them on sandwhiches. I used to love them that way as well.

  9. mfranti July 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Janet, do brassicas give your tummy trouble ?

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