Believe it or not, radishes are a somewhat underestimated or forgotten vegetable!
Yet Radishes are an old and venerable vegetable. They originated in China and spread quickly to Europe and the Mediterranean. Planted out only 2 weeks ago at the time of writing, our first batch are ready to harvest already.
They pack a healthy punch as fantastic source of Vitamin C, folate and potassium. Ounce for ounce they have about 42% as much vit. C as fresh oranges. They are good for the digestion.
We have tried a few varieties:
R. ‘Cherry Belle’ – a red globe and one of the most popular and favourite varieties grown. Bright red skin, smooth white flesh inside, crisp and crunchy too. Also sweet and succulent with a mild flavour.
R. ‘French Breakfast’ – these are cylindrical in shape, red with white tips. Crisp and sweet mild flavoured. Introduced before 1885, ‘French Breakfast’ was a favourite among French market gardeners, who considered it both attractive and tasty. In 1899 catalogue called the ‘French Breakfast’ “a grand little table sort” and reported that it had “delicately flavoured flesh, free from coarseness or any biting quality.”
R. ‘Bacchus’ – here is a purple skin variety to try out. White flesh inside. Something a wee bit different from the usual red/white.
R. ‘China Rose’ – now we just had to try this one! ‘China Rose’ is one of the oldest types of radish, it was introduced to Europe by Jesuit missionaries around 1850. This radish was described in an 1886 book on market growing as having ‘firm flesh’ and being ‘excellent for winter use’. This variety produces long, tapering roots with attractive rosy pink skins and crisp, pure white flesh. It has a distinctive, slightly pungent taste that adds flavour to winter salads. The leaves can also be added to salads and stir fries. A little slower to mature, so none here yet at the time of writing, but we’re looking forward to trying it when it’s ready.
Radishes will store for two to four weeks in the fridge and can be kept longer or stored in a cool dry area. There are loads of interesting recipes online for using them as well.
Finally – we’d be interested to know which varieties you prefer and enjoy and how you’ve used your radishes.
Here’s Tae the Radish!