How to Eat a Radish
Radishes contribute taste pleasure with their peppery flavor and crisp texture, but their nutritional offering is limited.
Radish Patch (Photo credit: OakleyOriginals)
What is a radish, you say? A radish is an edible root vegetable belonging to the mustard family. The word is derived from the Latin word radi meaning root.
Although there is a distinct possibility that the radish originated in eastern Asia, varying forms of this vegetable have been cultivated for so many years that its origin is obscure. The Egyptians are known to have eaten radishes years before the pyramids were built, and the Greeks and Romans enjoyed them, too. These radishes, however, were much larger in size and were eaten in quantities like Americans eat corn and beans.
Various types of radishes are grown today – small and large; round and oblong; red, white, black, and purple. The small, round, red and the long, white icicle varieties are the most common at the supermarket. The large, white daikon or oriental radish, when available in the United States, is best known in its pickled form.
Radishes contribute taste pleasure with their peppery flavor and crisp texture, but their nutritional offering is limited. They are quite low in calories and they contain vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.
Before using radishes, wash them and remove the tops and root ends. Leave them whole for a relish tray or garnish. Slice them for use in salads, sandwiches or vegetable dishes.
Although radishes are most often thought of as a relish food in this country, they are enjoyed in many different ways around the globe. In France, they are sliced, then buttered and salted. Mideastern cooks steam or boil the radish greens only. In Southeast Asia, one type of radish is highly valued for its fleshy seed pods, which are eaten raw or pickled. In China and Japan, the daikon is commonly prepared this way, also.
Why not try a radish if you haven’t already. Here is a simple, but delicious recipe using the radish as an ingredient.
Panama Radish Salad Recipe
1 ½ cups sliced radishes
1 cup finely diced tomato
¼ cup thinly sliced onion rings
2 tablespoons salad oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons snipped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine the radishes, the tomato, and the onion rings. In a screw-top jar, shake together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the radish mixture and toss. Chill one hour before serving.