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Relish the Radish

By Alana Sugar, July 11, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Of all the spicy dishes there are in this world, salad does not generally come to mind. That’s why I had to chuckle when my friend’s young son declared his salad “Waayyyy tooooo spicyyyy, Mom!” With all the gorgeous radishes available right now, I guess we went a bit overboard. When I was a child, radishes were used in restaurants as garnishes, which were often pushed to the side and never eaten. What a waste! In my humble opinion, many a garnish is far healthier and tastier than the other food on the plate. Lucky for me, my Mom was a huge radish fan. She would eat them raw with her lunch and she especially loved them with a sandwich. The radish is an edible root and a member of the Cruciferous vegetable family. It was originally domesticated in Europe during the pre-Roman era. These days, radishes are grown and enjoyed all over the world. They come in a rainbow of colors including red, white, purple and black. Some are small and round and some, such as the Japanese daikon, are long and cylindrical. They range in flavor from mild to very spicy, peppery and pungent. Although there are many varieties, most of us in the U.S. are familiar with the round, red version. They make an excellent accompaniment to many dishes and, unbeknownst to the masses, are absolutely delicious when cooked or pickled! I say now’s the time to relish the radish and spark a revival! Start here with my terrific tips and remarkable recipes:
  • Eat them alone as a crunchy snack or dip them in your favorite salad dressing.
  • Cut them up and stir into cottage cheese or ricotta cheese. Great with parsley, celery, chives and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Slice them thinly and serve them over lightly buttered whole grain bread or crackers.
  • Add them to salads of all sorts. Here’s a recipe for Crisp Fennel and Radish Salad.
  • Pair them perfectly with just about any baby green including spinach and arugula. Here’s one of my favorite recipes using Daikon for Asian Greens Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing.
  • Stir them raw into hot cooked grain dishes.
  • Try them with hummus and tabouli.
  • Make whole grain salads with your favorite veggies and chopped radish. Don’t forget the leaves!
  • Steam or sauté them; serve with a bit of butter or your favorite sauce.
  • Stir them into tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and crab or shrimp salad. Here’s a Crab Salad with Lemon Dressing.
  • Serve them over crackers topped with cream cheese.
  • Braise them with a bit of broth, tamari and sesame oil. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Or, grate them raw with just a dash of tamari and a drop of toasted sesame oil.
  • Add them to pasta salad. Here’s an idea for Spring Pasta Salad with Escarole, Radishes and Peas.
  • Sauté radish slices; add to green beans, broccoli or zucchini. Or try this idea for Sugar Snap Peas with Radishes.
  • Pickle them like in this recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind with Radishes or like in these Vietnamese Quick Pickled Vegetables.
  • Slice and add to sandwiches or falafel.
  • Add chopped or grated radishes to coleslaw. Here’s an idea for Thai Style Grilled Fish Tacos with Slaw.
  • Serve as a condiment alongside hamburgers, turkey burgers or veggie burgers.
  • Juice them with other veggies. For a “spicy” blend, try apple, radish and celery juice. Throw in some kale for spinach for a boost of great health and taste!
When shopping, choose firm radishes with no bruising or blemishes. The leaves should be green, not yellow! Be sure to remove the leaves and store the radish roots in a plastic bag. Keep them refrigerated for up to seven days. For an extra cool crunch, soak radishes in ice water for an hour or so before serving. Do you relish the radish? Got a really remarkable recipe? Let me know!
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce

 

15 Comments

Comments

Lindsay Taylor says ...
Roast them! I am a Registered Dietitian that teaches whole foods cooking classes in the Spokane, WA area. I recently found a fabulous, simple recipe in Whole Food Living, a magazine I get monthly. Roast radishes and their greens with olive oil, salt, and pepper (comparable to roasting kale chips for the greens, or other root veggies). Takes away the hot bite and they taste amazing! From one foodie to another, Lindsay
07/11/2011 12:46:08 PM CDT
Patti Dillaman says ...
My favorite recipe: A Radish Sandwich Slice radishes & green onion. Amount depends on how many sandwiches you are making. Dress with oil & vinegar - usually do a 1:1 ratio using CIDER vinegar and extra light olive oil or vegetable oil. Add salt & peeper to taste. Butter generously 2 slices of white bread. Add radishes & enjoy! (even tho using white bread goes against my grain :), it's what makes the sandwich.)
07/12/2011 2:05:44 PM CDT
Patti Dillaman says ...
Oops! That should have been "pepper" in above comment. Another way I really like radishes is to slice them and use them as a "cracker" for really good blue cheese. A saga blue or other spreadable works really great.
07/12/2011 2:10:45 PM CDT
Irene Dufel says ...
best HOT radishes are the long white ones I enjoyed growing up in Iowa
07/13/2011 6:38:02 PM CDT
Nancy Mumford says ...
I fell in love with the radish after years of avoiding them for reasons unknown...I made a beautiful salad using bibb lettuce, grapfruit segments, avocado & thinly sliced radish. I dressed it with the juice from the grapefruit, some cracked pepper, olive oil & sea salt & just a dash of agave nectar to seal the deal!
07/13/2011 8:51:30 PM CDT
Allison says ...
i LOOOVE radishes. you mention hummus, but i have to say, lemon hummus is especially delicious. if you can't find joseph's lemon hummus, i just add some lemon juice and hot pepper flakes to regular hummus, and dip radish slices. HEAVEN.
07/14/2011 8:29:08 AM CDT
Mark says ...
I've never found a spicy radish bunch at Whole Foods Market. All are just as mild as at the supermarket. The only exception are some organic ones at the Farmer's Market held in the parking lot in West Hartford CT.
07/14/2011 11:54:36 AM CDT
MJ Blackshear says ...
This is great but you forgot to mention how healthy Radishes are in cleansing the toxins from our bodies. Also, high in vitamin C, Calcium, protein and have cancer protective properties. Good for liver disorders, increase bile flow. There is so much more that they aid in. Please give us this other value added tid-bit of info. Thanks, MJ
07/14/2011 8:06:32 PM CDT
Dorothy Paape says ...
I slice them thinly along with turnips and portabella mushrooms. Then I saute them all in a bit of olive oil. A little salt & pepper on top & they're good to go. Sauteing the radishes takes some of the bite out of them & imparts an earthy flavor that's the perfect accompaniment to some home made pesto over pasta. Yum yum.
07/15/2011 9:16:04 AM CDT
P.McK says ...
I love radishes, too and eat them all summer long. Another suggestion - they're perfect for dipping in guacamole, and healthier than tortilla chips. Mmmmmm!
07/20/2011 10:07:09 AM CDT
Van Davidson says ...
What are the large icicle radishes called and do your stores in Houston usually stock them. I know they don't go under the name of Icicle Radishes. I think the name startes with a D.
02/28/2013 2:13:22 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@VAN - I was able to find an option for "White Icicle Radish" online at http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-seeds-white-icicle-radish.html. If you look at the photo it will help clarify they are the right radishes you are looking to find. I did find a D'avignon Radish where you can check the photo at http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-seeds-french-davignon-radish.html. If one of these are exactly what you are looking for, I would suggest reaching out to the Houston location you plan to shop with and they can let you know if they have them in stock!
03/04/2013 2:14:22 PM CST
Peggy says ...
Slice them on a Mandolin, add a little evoo, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven. They taste a lot like roasted potatoes, with next to no carbs or calories.
03/04/2014 7:49:38 PM CST
Aqeel says ...
Red Radish with Feta Cheese, Parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, tastes great! Had that at an Iranian restaurant in Chicago and has been a favorite now for many yrs.
03/04/2014 10:14:38 PM CST
Gail says ...
Radishes with a squeeze of lime juice on them rock! The taco trucks here in my area of western WA always have radishes on the plate of the little California tacos. Never much liked radishes until I started eating them with lime in my tacos!
03/06/2014 1:01:44 PM CST