Relish the Radish

Go beyond the garnish! Cooked, pickled or raw, radishes add a mild tang or a spicy bite to favorite recipes.

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:

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!

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