WHAT IS A RADISH?
Also known as the European radish, this root vegetable has become the ambassador for all turnips. With its red skin, white flesh and circular to oblong shape it provides a beautiful color contrast to any recipe. They are an annual crop that grows quickly (3 to 4 weeks) in moderate temperatures. The longer they grow or larger they become, the more “heat” they have. But if kept in the ground too long radishes become bitter and tough. Cruciferous (think kale, broccoli, etc) in nature, they’re most often served raw. However this vegetable is just as delicious roasted, braised or even pickled.
WHY IS A RADISH GOOD FOR YOU?
They’re rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium. This root also helps with digestion! However different breeds will vary in health benefits. For example the black radish has four times the glucosinolates as their red cousins. These nitrogen and sulfur compounds are present in certain raw vegetables and in moderation seem to help prevent cancer.
WHEN IS A RADISH IN SEASON?
They’re available year-round in general but can be planted immediately after the last frost so are an early Spring harvest. In the northern US this makes it a June through November crop.
HOW SHOULD RADISHES BE STORED?
Remove the green stems, clean and store in your refrigerator for several weeks. A zip lock bag with a damp paper towel will keep them from drying out.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT A RADISH?
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WHAT TYPES OF RADISHES ARE THERE?
The Cherry Belle and Champion breeds are the most common but there are many other types. While you tend to only see the red varietal in stores, there are actually a whole range of options. The lesser known black radish is a favorite in soups and stews (click here to see how it differs). In Asia the daikon radish (elongated with white roots) is a popular winter ingredient.