Hard to beat radishes

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Dwight Schrute loves his beets but let us talk about another root veggie. Radishes and beets both have roots but that is where the similarities end. Sweet and sassy spring radishes are splashing colors and spice this spring. These colorful little gems are some of the first edible bites of color after Ohio winter shades of white, grays and brown. Radishes are easy to grow and take up small garden space. Most are quick to go from seed to tastebuds in less than 30 days. Radishes pop up in a rainbow of hues of red, purples, pinks, white as well as bunch of different shapes and sizes. 

Paul loves radishes. He loves them so much I have been known to get him a couple of bundles tied with a bow as an exquisite, vibrant, and spicy radish bouquet! Perfect for a guy who does not believe in Valentine’s Day. In the spring, I love to grow a bunch of different varieties like cherry belles, Easter egg, French breakfast, daikon as well as one of my favorites, the watermelon radish. The watermelon radish is fascinating, being one of the few with longer waits to taste. These treasures are amazing pieces of nature’s art with red on the inside and a whitish green on the outside. Radishes are a stealth way for me to get some veggies on the plate for a guy who hates salad. It is also a running joke that I pay Paul in radishes! I’m 100% sure, I get the better end of that deal.

  Nutritionally the peppery goodness provides a low-calorie crunch that is an acceptable choice for all the free diets — gluten free, carb-free (low or no carbs) or other something-free. Seriously, radishes are a secret weapon in the healthy food arsenal. Real Food Dietitians gives these 5 reasons to love radishes. 

  1. Radishes are a root vegetable that comes in several different colors and are a cousin to cabbage.
  2. This bright spring veg is a very good source of disease-fighting and immunity-boosting vitamin C.
  3. Radishes contain natural antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  4. They contain a unique phytochemical called indoles which promotes detoxification, helping your body rid itself of harmful substances.
  5. Radishes are full of powerful antioxidant flavonoids that fight havoc-causing free radicals and aid in healthy liver and kidney function.

  These little bites of dynamite explode with flavor and crunch adding texture, spice, and versatility to dishes. Watermelon radishes compliment with partners such as ranch, hummus, and aioli. Radish creativity opens your possibilities to pickling, roasting and even an using an air fryer. Pickling radishes is all the rage and it adds a boost of sweet, tangy flavor with a crunch to sandwiches and salads. Zip up your favorite taco and flatbreads with pickled or a radish salsa. Some even like them hot, temperature that is. Try roasting or using the air fryer to bring out the sweetness and interesting texture. Start to explore the world of radishes and I guarantee soon you will be hooked on the crunch and zip of radishes. 

Eat well and healthy,

Shelly 

Roasted Radishes therealfooddietitians.com

1 lb. fresh radishes, stems removed, ends trimmed, and halved.

1 tablespoon melted ghee, butter coconut oil or avocado oil)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley, dried chives, or dried dill or mix

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Optional toppings: Ranch dressing for drizzling or garnish of fresh parsley, dill, or chives

  Preheat oven to 425℉. In a bowl, combine the radishes, cooking fat (ghee, butter, or oil), dried herbs, salt, and pepper; toss until the radishes are evenly coated. (Note: do not add the minced garlic until step 3).

  Spread radishes out in a single layer in a large 9×13-inch baking dish.

  Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes of baking add the minced garlic and toss. Return to oven to bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until radishes are golden brown and easily pierced with a fork.

  If desired, serve with ranch dressing for dipping or drizzling on top and garnish with fresh parsley, dill, or chives.

  Serve them alongside grilled meats and chicken. For an extra treat, drizzle these radishes with ranch dressing. Another favorite way to enjoy these Garlic Roasted Radishes is by adding them to a salad along with sliced chicken, avocado, sliced almonds, and green onions, then toss it all with our citrus vinaigrette

Quick Pickled Radishes    acouplecooks.com

1 bunch radishes

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar (or maple syrup)

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Thinly slice the radishes.

Place all the ingredients in a jar. Secure the lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate until serving. Stores for 2 weeks refrigerated.

Spicy Roasted Daikon “French Fry”   cookingontheweekends.com

5 cups (about 1 3/4-pounds) Daikon radish, peeled & sliced – see instruction no. 2. for instructions

3½ tablespoons grapeseed oil

1½ teaspoons chili paste (I like Sambal Oelek)

1 teaspoon low sodium Tamari or soy sauce

½ teaspoon ginger pulp, freshly grated

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

 Preheat the oven to 475°F and adjust a rack to the center.

 Cut the Daikon into sections approximately 3-inches long, then cut about ¼-inch slices off the side of each one, to make a base. Stand the sections on their bases, and cut them, vertically into slices about ¼-inch thick. Stand these slices on top of each other, and then cut them into sticks about ¼-inch thick. Add all the Daikon slices to a baking sheet and set aside.

 In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili paste, Tamari or soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and salt.

Drizzle this over the Daikon slices and then use your hands to toss them until they are all evenly coated and in a single layer.

 Place the baking sheet in the preheated 475°F oven and roast until they are golden brown on all sides, about 30 minutes. (You should gently toss/flip them about halfway through the cooking time.)

 Add a double layer of paper towels to another baking sheet, and when the fries are done, add them on top of the towels to drain and cool.

Croatian Radish Salad  Saveur.com

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. minced parsley

1 tsp. minced thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 bunches small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

  Whisk mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl; stir in radishes. Chill salad 15 minutes before serving.

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