We planted radishes in our allotment just before the start of the school holidays and within weeks we had a lovely crop. We bought a cheap packer of multi-coloured radish and each colour seemed to vary in taste
It was also interesting to experiment with the development of that spicy taste these little fireballs are known for. These ping pong ball sized bulbs were really peppery. I don’t think I’ve ever had radish with that level of pungency! I had them raw with a sprinkling of sea salt – this is how my father always eats them and I remember as a child being in awe that he could palate something so fiery!
A low calorie digestive
By the following week they had mellowed and almost had a sweetness about them so were very easy to eat as they were. The delectable crunch was still there giving a hugely satisfying smile with each bite.
So aesthetically they have it all but I was curious about their nutritional value. In India these are eaten with the main meal as they help digestion. This is because they stimulate the production of bile which is part of a good digestive process. On top of that they have few calories being nearly all water and fibre. A handful of radishes has about 5 calories and will release energy slowly helpong with blood sugar levels. I think this worked for me. I took them to work for a mid morning snack and wasn’t really hungry til late afternoon.
Almost completely edible
We didn’t thin out our plants this year. A silly mistake. We were so excited at the little shoots coming out of the ground that we simply forgot. Next year though, I shall thin the plants out to get bigger bulbs and eat the spicy micro leaves in salad! I might also let a few go to flower as these are edible too.
Roasted Radish With Thyme and Honey
Being a root vegetable I imagined radish would roast up pretty well. I wanted something to counteract the peppery flavour so drizzled over some plain runny honey before popping them in the oven. Once cooked, I tossed through some fresh thyme and this was a knockout accompaniment to my roast cod.
I hadn’t realised how many uses they have. I only used to buy these occasionally and eat them raw like my father but having had a fair few handfuls every week this summer, I’ve learned you can grate them into dips – Radish worked quite well in Tzatziki instead of the garlic and boil them and fork them through mash potato for a little natural pepper flavour.
How do you eat radishes? Do you have any recipes to share?
- Radishes: From one garden to another (doriegreenspan.com)
- Recipes at Love Radish (loveradish.co.uk)
- Radish Recipes at Martha Stewart – Especially Radish Butter (marthastewart.com)