Friday, September 12, 2014

Radishes 101

The Radish is a fast growing and edible root vegetable that is part of the Brassicaeae family which includes flowerings plants known as Mustards and also as the Crucifers or Cabbage family. Domesticated in Europe during Pre-Roman times and the origin of the Radish is tentatively determined to be Southeast Asia. Radishes are often a companion plant to other vegetables as its pungent odor often deters pests. Radishes and cucumbers are often grown together. Varietals are categorized as summer, fall, winter and spring Radishes. They come in a variety of different shapes and colors including pink, red, purple, yellow, green and black. The flesh of the taproot is usually white and its hot flavor is derived from the skin. The leaves of the Radish plant are edible as well. Seven million tons of Radishes are produced worldwide equalling 2 percents of all vegetable productions. Click here to learn more fun facts about the Radish and learn more on Radish varietals click here.

To Store

Radishes can be stored in the refrigerator (unwashed) for up two weeks or longer if stored properly. To prevent spoilage, cut off the leafy part of the Radish as it breaks down first. Wrap in a damp paper towel or store in a perforated bag.
To Nourish
Here are a few reasons to eat your Radishes! Radishes are naturally cooling with their pungent flavor. They are known for their ability to decrease excess heat in the body. Radishes are also reputed to sooth sore throats. Their flavor and spice aid in the elimination of excess mucus in the body and clear the sinuses to boot. Radishes aid in digestion. They are a natural cleansing agent and help to break down and eliminate excess food and toxins that develop over time. With their high Vitamin C content and natural cleansing effects, Radishes help to ward off viral infections. Radishes have qualities like Phtyonutrients, Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals that are linked to cancer prevention. Radishes can relieve indigestion with their calming effect on the digestive system and anti-bloating properties. They are low in calories, nutrient packed and will help to keep the body hydrated with their high water content. High in Ascorbic Acid, Folic Acid, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Magnesium Copper and Calicum; Radishes are nutrient packed! To learn more about Radish nutrition click here

To Prepare
Radishes are primarily eaten raw in salads or pickled but several other cooking methods apply. Radishes can be braised, sauteed, boiled, steamed, baked and braised to name a few. For information on Radish prep click here. For information on cooking methods click here and for innovative ideas on how chefs are using Radishes in their dishes today checkout this article from Bon Appetit.

To Try 

Sweet Watermelon Radish Salad 
Butter Braised Radishes 
Warm Smoked Lobster Salad with Radish and Lime, Vanilla and Mango Dressing

To Use

Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Wood Salad Bowl is great for everyday meals and easygoing entertaining. As sturdy and affordable as it is attractive, it's crafted of durable mango wood – a tropical hardwood with a rich color and beautiful grain. The wide, shallow shape makes it easy to toss leafy greens and other ingredients with dressing, so you enjoy perfectly balanced flavors. (Williams-Sonoma, $39.95)