For the Love of Radishes

radish love

Radishes are what I call an "almost instant gratification" crop. You plant the seeds and the babies are ready to harvest in just a few weeks. It's really kind of amazing! My mom used to eat radishes right out of my Gramma's garden when she was pregnant with me, so it's no wonder that I just simply adore them. If you've never had one, go get some! They are super crisp, amazingly fresh, and have a peppery bite to them that will surprise you.

Radishes are usually grown during the cooler months, but they will grow all summer if you want them to. The greens are edible too - although they are kind of prickly, so I'm not a huge fan of eating them raw. Besides just eating them right out of the garden, here are a few of my favorite ways to use them up. 

  • Slice them thin and put them on a salad. I love pairing them with whatever fruit is in season. The fruit is sweet, and the radishes are spicy, and it just ends up to be perfection on a plate!
  • Make Radish Butter! I know it sounds strange, but it's so amazingly delicious on a big crust baguette. 
  • Or if butter isn't your thing, make a Radish Dip. Mix 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with one small bunch of radishes in a food processor. Throw in a pinch of salt and a few basil leaves. You can dip crackers, pretzels, or other veggies in it. I brought this to a farm potluck once and it was gone within a matter of minutes.

And don't forget the greens! My favorite way to use the greens is making a pesto with them. It has a spicy, peppery flavor that is unique in pesto. you can spread it on crusty bread, put it out on a Bruschetta  platter, mix it with some hot pasta, spread it on chicken ... once you've turned your greens into pesto, the possibilities are endless! This Baked Ziti is one of my favorite ways to use up pesto.

You can also roast and pickle radishes, but I haven't found a recipe for either of those that I actually like. I think they taste best raw.

What are your favorite ways to eat radishes?