Raving About Radishes - Culinary Therapy

Raving About Radishes

Does one ever rave about radishes? I was never inclined to, until I discovered that they are one of the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow, perfect for me and my amateur garden. Radishes offer ease, not only in the garden but in the kitchen as well. You’ll find this vibrant staple an easy addition to your favorite soups, salads, and stir fry.

Radishes are root vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family of veggies, including broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Unlike a beet, the flesh isn’t red but white, resembling that of a turnip. There are multiple radish varieties, different in both size and in taste ranging from mild to extremely pungent.

Radishes are a cooling food, perfect to add variety to your summer meals. Look to your local farmer for what’s in season. Typically spring and summer radishes are red and white. Radishes are hearty, and varieties like the Daikons are most flavorful in fall and winter.  

The many health benefits of radishes include:

  • An excellent source of Vitamin C, for improved immune functioning
  • Contains Vitamin B6, which is liver-supportive and helpful in the removal of toxins
  • Stimulates the appetite and work as an excellent digestive aid
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Anti-fungal properties
  • Cancer-protective
  • Good source of ascorbic acid, folic acid and potassium
  • Good source of magnesium, copper, riboflavin and calcium

Buying, Storing, and Preparation:

Radishes should be firm and crisp. The greens should be bright and fresh, not wilted. If you’re like me, you may forget your radishes and notice that your once fresh greens are now slightly wilted. Try storing in the fridge in water, or simply cut them off. With the greens intact, the radish will store for a few days. Remove your greens and your radishes will keep up to four weeks. They are best stored in a ziplock bag in the vegetable drawer.

To prepare your radishes, scrub them with a vegetable brush like you would a carrot. Peel if desired.

Quick Serving Ideas:

  • My favorite way to eat radishes is in my Summer Black-Eyed Pea Salad.
  • Add tiny diced radishes to your favorite salad
  • Add to casseroles, stir-fries and soups
  • Roast whole, with other vegetables
  • Boil until soft and serve with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt
  • Steam them with carrots and glaze with orange juice

Note: Radishes can be enjoyed raw, but their flavor is noticeable sweeter when cooked.

If you aren’t raving about radishes yet, look to the history as your guide. While the modern day radish is thought to have come from Asia, radishes were cultivated in Egypt and highly esteemed in ancient Greece, where they were carried on golden platters as vegetable sacrifices to the Gods.


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