Have you been passing up radishes when you place your pre-order with Countryside Curbside because you just don’t know much about them? Growing up, radishes weren’t something that were ever put on my plate. Now that I have had the opportunity to taste them in a few dishes, I am excited to add them to my weekly shopping list! Even if you did not like them the first time you tried them, we encourage you to try them again. There are many varieties to choose from, and lots of ways to enjoy them.

The radish varieties we know today evolved from thousands of years of cultivation around the world. The name radish is derived from the Latin word “radix”, meaning root. Asian cultures tend to be most associated with radishes, but they are a pretty big deal to other areas too. The radish is depicted on the walls of the ancient Egyptian pyramids, and is also present in several wall paintings from Pompeii. Today, it is estimated that the world produces 7 million tons of radishes annually! To put that into perspective, that is over 19 times the weight of the empire state building. While most radishes only weigh a few ounces, the heaviest radish on record weighed in at 68lbs 9oz! It was grown in 2003 in Japan by Manabu Oono.

Radishes are harvested quickly, about 30 days from seeding. You can find radishes in all shapes, colors, and sizes! While some varieties are red and round, such as cherry belle, others are white and oval, like the white icicle variety. The french breakfast radish is even multi-colored! For the greatest pop of color, try the easter egg radish, who’s skin pigment can range from white to pink or even purple. And don’t forget about the daikon radish, which has a mild flavor and can be found in many Asian cuisines. In fact, you can read about our farm market manager Serena’s experience with Daikon radishes here!

Are you on the fence about trying them? Here are a few reasons why we are rooting for you to add them to your shopping list: 

  • Radishes are a great source of fiber, helping you to feel full!
  • Radishes also provide lots of Vitamin C, essential for your immune system to properly function (and the events of this year have emphasized the importance of this!) 
  • Radishes are low in calories, making them a great add-on for salads, sandwiches, and much more. One cup of sliced radishes is only about 19 calories!

Take a look at these recipes for some inspiration to get yourself cooking with radishes:

Radish Confetti Salad

This recipe comes from the University of Illinois Extension. It makes a great appetizer, and is an easy way to add some veggies to your plate.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large radishes, washed and trimmed
  • 1 medium carrot, trimmed
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed
  • Six to eight chives, cut into one-inch pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Shred radishes and carrots. Cut celery into matchstick size pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and toss.
  3. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce.

Radish Raita

This recipe from bonappetit.com makes a great addition to spicy grilled fish or chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro or mint
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/3 cup grated red radishes 
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Mix together the yogurt, cilantro, chile, onion and lime juice.
  2. Fold in 1 cup of radishes. Season with salt.
  3. When ready to serve, drizzle with oil and top with ⅓ cup grated radish.

Roasted Radishes

This is about as easy as it gets!

Ingredients:

  • radishes
  • oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika

*measurements are up to the cook and his/her personal preference
*We recommend about ½ cup to 1 cup of radishes per serving.

Method:

  1. Simply cut a few radishes into bite size pieces, toss with oil, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, until golden and crispy.