I have loved radishes since I was little, always looking forward to holidays when they were always included on the munchy tray, along with carrots, celery, and olives. I never thought about cooking with them until I met Melana. I had no idea! These recipes are fantastic and the greens add such a wonderful flavor to soups (I never remember early enough to harvest a few of the younger leaves for salads). Enjoy!
Radish: Cooking With the Whole Plant
Radish plants are edible. Simple as that. Not just the root that so many of us enjoy in our tossed salads or see as garnish on veggie trays but the whole plant.
Add the flowers to salads and the leaves, collected young, are a wonderfully peppery addition to your salad as are radish sprouts. Check with your local health food store to purchase radish seeds for sprouting. They are fun, quick and easy to do. To sprout radish or many other seeds simply place a handful of seed in a clean jar. Cover the top with a mesh cloth such as a hank of that ugly green curtain Aunt Doris gave you last fall and secure it in place with a wide rubber band. Rinse the seeds in cold water, drain off the excess water and lay your jar in a dark cupboard on it’s side. Two or three times a day, take out the jar, rinse the seeds in cold water and drain. Within 3-5 days you will have wonderful radish sprouts ready to green in the kitchen window and then be added to salads, stir-fry dishes, lasagna or soups.
Anyway, back to the plants in your garden. The big leaves that are no longer fit to be eaten raw can be dried, crumbled and added as a “spice” to soups and stews. These dry easily in an oven set to its lowest temperature with the door held ajar with a wooden spoon. Store in a well sealed container in your cupboard until ready to use.
The young seed pods are a crisp, light addition for salads having a hint of radish flavor without being over powering. These make very interesting pickles as well and can be added to any pickle recipe you have around. Great conversation pieces at parties and cook outs I always make sure the pods are presented in as many ways as possible. Try adding them to cole-slaw, veggie plates, minced in cheese balls or any other favorite recipe.
The seeds that you grew or purchased for sprouts can be ground into a “mustard”. The resulting “flour” is to dry to be used alone for anything other than maybe a rub for meat so I add either a store bought hot mustard or mayonnaise to reach the right consistency when I grind my radish seeds for mustard. You can also add water, wine, vinegar, beer, or a combination of several of these liquids and simmer the paste for a few minutes to process your “mustard” for use. The favor is typical radish, sort of snappy but not over powering. I crush mine in a mortar but if you have a good grinder try that instead. As well I leave the hulls in since I love a good, course mustard but you can sift them out if you want something smoother.
Try the following recipe out at your next weekend grill. Good stuff and you can replace the cilantro with fresh dill or fennel greens for a variety of relishes.
Radish And Cilantro Relish
- 2 c Radishes; Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 c Onion, diced (1 Med)
- 3 T Orange Juice
- 2 T Lime Juice or Lemon Juice
- 2 T Fresh Cilantro; finely minced
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 t Salt
- 1/8 t Pepper; Freshly Ground
Mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 3 cups of relish. Serve on the side with soup or sandwiches.
There is a cookbook called THE GREEN THUMB COOKBOOK by the editors of Organic Gardening and Farming that has some unusual recipes for when you have an over abundance of produce from your garden. Some of them are pretty good.
- 1/2 pound long, white radishes, or round, red radishes, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 milk
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- oil for sauteing
1. Beat all ingredients except radishes and oil together to make a batter. Stir in grated radishes
2. Drop by spoonfuls into a small amount of hot oil, and saute until golden on both sides. Drain excess oil and serve hot.
Makes 4 servings
Creamed Radishes On Toast
From THE GREEN THUMB COOKBOOK by the editors of Organic Gardening and Farming
Creamed Radishes On Toast
- 18 radishes (about 3 cups sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat or unbleached flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 6 slices whole grain bread
- chopped parsley for garnish
1. Wash radishes. Remove tops and roots. Slice or quarter. Cover with boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
2. Melt butter in skillet; add flour and stir until flour begins to brown. Pour in milk and stir until thick and bubbly.
3. Add the seasonings and radishes, and simmer until heated through. Meanwhile, toast bread.
4. Serve creamed radishes over toast, and garnish with parsley.
Makes 6 servings