Growing and Using Radishes

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Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the home garden. They mature very fast, so you can still get some seeds in even when summer comes to an end. They prefer cooler weather, in fact, so planting them late in the season will ensure they don’t end up going to seed or having too strong a flavor.

If you are unsure about whether you enjoy radishes, the “French breakfast radish” is a good variety to try, given their mild flavor.

All types of radishes can be planted up until three weeks before your average fall frost date. You can plant some every two weeks for a continuous supply.

Radishes do best planted in beds with compost added to them. They can also be planted in containers. Seeds should be planted about 1/2 inch deep, and about 3 inches apart. Large varieties, such as daikon radish, should be planted farther apart.

Radishes are ready for harvest after 20 to 40 days after planting. They are best when you don’t allow them to get too large before harvesting.

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Radishes can be sliced and served on toast with butter or cheese. They can also be chopped and sauteed in oil or butter with garlic and herbs. Radishes can be added to stir-fries and soups, and of course, salads.

When adding them to salads, I personally like to mix them with ingredients that are a little sweet, to help balance their spicy flavor.

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Radish Salad with Tomatoes and Strawberries

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced radishes (I use organic “common” red radishes)
  • 2 cups baby arugula or baby spinach
  • 1 cup sungold (or cherry) tomatoes
  • 1 cup very ripe quartered strawberries (or diced apples)
  • 4 tbsp. organic plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • Fresh basil leaves and minced dill, to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, stir together the yogurt and maple syrup, and pour over the salad. Mix well and serve immediately.

— Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen

Photo Credit: Winnie Abramson

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