Respect the Radish: Fresh Talk
I blame the institutional salad bar for the radish’s drab reputation. Every salad bar has a radish tub, and this tub is never empty. It’s never even half-empty. No customer has ever complained to the manager: “I came here to make myself a lovely salad, and yet, you have NO MORE RADISHES.”
The problem stems, at least in part, from our lack of creativity when preparing these humble vegetables. Too often we slice them in rounds, flick them over iceberg lettuce, and call it a day. It’s high time we shake things up and start looking beyond the salad bowl.
Julienne radishes and pickle them with a bit of salt, sugar, and white wine vinegar to get a good taste of just how delicious radishes can be. (Or slice and pickle them if you prefer.) Pair them with lemon zest, olives, soft butter, and bread, creating a hearty crostini as I do in my cookbook Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. Make a pretty tea sandwich, a zesty, cumin-spiked slaw, or even top radishes with smoked salmon for a quick and elegant hors d’oeuvre.
Three more radish varieties may help expand your radish horizons. They include:
1. French breakfast radishes, which are oblong and mild in flavor
2. Watermelon radishes, which sport beautiful pink and green starbursts
3. Long, ivory daikon radishes, which are popular in Asian cookery
Got a bunch of radishes? Explore all our radish recipes!