Radishes are one vegetable I’m trying to incorporate into my cooking more and more often. I actually use to despise them as a child but now I love their spicy flavor! I’ve used them in the last few months mostly for pickling, Pickled Radishes and Golden Beets & Pickled Radish and Bok Choy Slaw, but as the weather’s getting warmer I’ll start adding them into cold salads.
Radishes are in the same family as horseradish, mustard and turnips. They’re a “root vegetable” and come in many varieties including white, red and black. At the farmer’s market you’ll want to look for radishes that have plump and firm bulbs with bright green leaves. Some farmers detach the leaves before selling them so that’s fine too. Radishes can be found in most supermarkets all year long but their peak season is the springtime when you’ll find them at your local farmers market.
- Radishes contain high levels of vitamin C–> which help prevent viral infections.
- They are also linked with anti-cancer properties.
- Radishes aid in digestion with their natural-cleansing properties.
- Because of their pungent and spicy flavor, they can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting colds and sore throats.
Fresh radishes can be stored by removing the leaves and keeping in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you don’t remove the leaves, they’ll pull moisture from the crisp bulbs leaving them dry and dull. Just because you remove the leaves doesn’t mean you have to throw them away though! Radish greens are not as commonly eaten as turnip greens because they’re considered a “hairy green” and feel a bit prickling when you eat them. However, they cook down well with heat so add in some EVOO and garlic and use them as a sauteed green side-dish or throw them into an omelette or soup!
You’ll want to really scrub the radish bulbs to remove all of the dirt in the tiny crevices before preparing them for meals.
What to Make With Radish Bulbs:
- Because of their naturally spicy flavor, radishes are great in pickling recipes
- Chop them up raw to add to a salad
- Slice them thin to top on burgers/hot-dogs
- Add them to a soup
- Slice them and place them on the grill for a great side-dish
- Add them to a spring pasta dish
- Top them on crostini for appetizers
- Add them into a tuna/chicken salad
- Thinly slice and add onto a sandwich
The possibilities are endless!
Coming Thursday I’ll show you how to use radish bulbs in the perfect (and fun) springtime salad!
Now that you understand this root vegetable a bit more, head to your local farm market this week or weekend and pick up a radish bundle to start cooking with!