What’s In Your Garden? Revelations on Radishes


radishes_03_Natalia de Cuba Romero

Simple is often best, especially with summer vegetables.

We grow radishes in our raised beds every year, because they are easy to grow (just let your kids scatter seeds in rows or, as we did this year, spell out their names in big block letters; cover with about ¼-inch of soil and thin as they begin to crowd each other) and because they are as easy to enjoy; pull them out of the ground, wipe them off on your jeans and pop into your mouth.

We grow French breakfast radishes; their thin skin, juicy flesh and spicy finish are shockingly different from the hard bitter supermarket radishes I grew up with. I also sauté the greens with other leafy greens and some garlic (I don’t particularly like radish greens raw unless they are very very new), so I use the whole plant.

Here is a very very slightly more elaborate preparation that adds a little pretty to the table. I call it carpaccio. You can also visit my blog for instructions on roasting radishes to delicate sweetness (really!) or adding to a cold rice noodle and tahini salad.

Cucumber and Radish Carpaccio

Thinly slice equivalent amounts of radishes and cucumbers. Put a layer of cucumbers on a serving plate. Top with a layer of radishes. Drizzle with olive oil and dot with balsamic vinegar. Finish with a pinch of flaky sea salt, and serve.

Note: We eat it with our fingers over here, so forget keeping the crisp button-up shirt clean. But this is about pleasure, and pleasure is not always tidy. And tidiness is not always desirable. However, should you decide to be more formal, make separate appetizer portions for each person and hand them a fork and a napkin. Preferably cloth 😉

Natalia de Cuba Romero blogs at Hot, Cheap & Easy.  Read more of her posts for Edible here