A tiny radish of passionate scarlet, tipped modestly in white. – Clementine Paddleford
As I was putting in my garden, Mom gave me a little bag of mixed radish and carrot seeds. “The radishes grow faster than the carrots,” she told me, “so it’s good to plant them together. By the time you harvest the last of the radishes, the carrots will be just about ready.”
She was right about how quickly radishes grow. For the last month, I’ve been home for summer break. Lunch most days has been salads of radish greens (both red and daikon), tossed with my other early grower, pak choi, and supplemented with dandelion leaves picked from the yard. But now my radish days are coming to an end. They’re crowding out the carrots, and even each other. The other day, I picked one larger than a golf ball!
So with an eye to clearing out the last of the radishes, let me run through my favorite ways to use them.
Toss them in salads.
Radish roots are salad staples, at least at our house, but the young greens are equally good raw. Here is the basic template for the salad I’ve been making all summer:
- 2 radishes, roots and leaves
- handful of pak choi or other greens
- 3 or 4 dandelion leaves
- crumbled cheese to taste, whatever is in your fridge. (Chèvre is delicious. So is sharp cheddar. I probably won’t repeat the brie, though.)
- nuts or seeds to garnish (usually sunflower and chia, for me)
Wash the radishes, greens, and dandelion leaves, chop them up, and toss it all together with your favorite dressing. I’ve been too lazy to make my own dressing after picking the salad ingredients, so I’ve been cheating and using Green Goddess dressing from Trader Joe’s. Go ahead and and judge me. This recipe also works well with daikon greens — it’s a great way to use up those young daikons you are thinning out.
If you want a more radish-centric recipe, Harvest to Table has a delicious recipe for a radish root and leafy green salad that gives the humble red radish center stage. I made the soy-sauce dressing variant and flavored it with shiso from my garden. So good! I also really want to try this radish salad with parmesan and lemon from the Crepes of Wrath.
Yesterday’s lunch was a departure — scrambled eggs with sautéed onion, garlic, radish and zucchini. I sautéed the leaves as well as the root, because I like LOTS of vegetables mixed in with my eggs. Radishes are also good tucked into pasta or stir fry.
While in California for some training last week, I ordered a dish of roasted vegetables and hummus. To my surprise, there were some roasted radishes tucked into the mix. They were delicious, especially dipped in hummus. Roasting mellows out the spicy radish, giving it a warm, almost sweet flavor. Now I really want to try this roasted radish with brown butter and lemon recipe from Epicurious.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface of radish uses. Do you have any favorite radish recipes?