About Radishes

This week’s lesson: Radishes!

Radishes come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. They are a popular crop for gardeners because of how quickly they can be harvested after planting… some are ready in just three weeks! Plus you can plant them every two weeks or so while the weather is still cool (spring and fall), and have a continuous supply of radishes for months.

How do you know when it is ready to harvest?

The greens will be several inches long, and you will usually start to see the top of the radish crowning out of the soil. An easy way to check is just to brush the soil away gently just underneath the greens, and check how big the diameter is on the top of the exposed radish. If it looks about one inch in diameter, it is ready to pick; just gently pull it out! Harvesting radishes should be done early because the longer you leave them in the ground, the more spongy and hot they become. They are better in salads the younger they are, too!

How do you store them?

Brush off the soil around the bulbs and trim off the greens.  SAVE THE GREENS, YOU CAN EAT THEM! Radish greens, especially the younger leaves, have a nice radish flavor and are great in salads. Don’t wash them until just before you eat them, they will last longer this way. Store the radish bulbs and the greens separately, wrapped in paper towels or cloths in a loose plastic bag in the fridge (air tight bags will trap too much moisture and make them soggy). * TIP*- save the plastic produce bags you get at the grocery store, they make great storage bags for things like this! Stored this way, the greens will last six-eight days, and the bulbs will last up to two weeks.

How do you cook them?

Raw radishes are delicious in salads and cole slaws, on vegetable platters served with dip, and on sandwiches. Radishes can be cooked as well, whether they are steamed, sauteed, or thrown in a stir-fry. They are also great pickled!

Radish greens are a delicious addition to salads, or could be cooked as you would spinach or any other greens.


Radish Dressing

(makes enough for eight salads)

5 radishes, unpeeled, trimmed, coarsely chopped (* or use radish greens, see note below)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TB sherry wine vinegar

1 TB honey mustard

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine radishes, oil, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Blend until thick dressing forms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl or jar, covered, and store in fridge for up to 1 week.

* Radish greens are a GREAT substitute for radishes in this recipe. Just add the greens of three or four radishes in place of the radish bulbs to make a lovely green dressing. Then you can save the radish bulbs for the salad itself!*