Right now I have tons of radish coming up. I feed some of the tops to my chicken and I compost the rest. I grow daikon, the usual small red globe radishes, and this year I'm trying rat tail radish that I plan on pickling. Any other ideas for using both the radish root and tops?
I have a pug too and he and my other dog loves radishes.
A lot of people don't know that radishes, both the greens and the roots, are good cooked. They are a major vegetable crop in places like India for this purpose, and you can make a crop of greens from seeding radish quicker than just about anything else.
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 5 years ago
Turnips and bok choi are the same species. One has been selected to have great roots. The other has been selected to have great leaves. While in theory, turnip leaves can be eaten I find them unpalatable. They are too coarse and too spiny for me to enjoy.
Beets and chard are also the same species and have been selected for different purposes. To my taste buds, beet greens are OK as a green. Chard is much better. Chard roots are too fibrous to enjoy eating.
The same sort of scenario applies to radishes. Some strains have been selected for making great roots, others for great seed pods, and others for great leaves.
I routinely cook radish tops and roots. I don't eat them straight, but rather chopped up in stir fry, stews, soups, and such. I also pickle them. I grew rat tail radish last year for the first time. They are a change in pace because you harvest the pods. They were just fine in stir fry and as pickled. I'll grow then again this fall but I'll set them up a bit differently. The plants grow tall and can sprawl.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Since daikon radish leaves are so large, I like to use them in soups and stews - they have a great mild flavor and texture (and hold their shape after cooking, unlike spinach which wilt too quickly). You can make a soup using daikon leaves and sliced daikon; my favorite is bone broth (homemade with oxtails and beef bones) with daikon, carrot, and onion, and a few handfuls of daikon leaves tossed in at the end.
If you like beef and barley soup, daikon is a really nice addition to that. I often use it in place of turnips in a recipe. The greens can be cooked like any other tender green; try them in dishes where you'd normally use chard. (A few suggestions: omelettes or fritattas, stir-fries, sautes, pastas.)
In my book, I have a recipe for butter-braised radishes and radish greens with farro; it's a simple one-pot meal that uses both ends of spring radishes. Heat really brings out the sweetness of the roots and makes them a little less spicy and bitter. (You can also roast radishes with other root vegetables like carrots and potatoes.)
If you prefer to use them raw, spring radishes and their greens make a nice salad. Daikon is delicious pickled, and I also use it in sauerkraut and kimchi.
I pickle my radishes. I slice them about 1/16" thick and put them in a glass canning jar with pickling liquid. I use applecider vinegar, garlic, onion, basil, sea salt, pepper, and coconut sugar. 24 hours in the refrigerator and they are delicious! They will keep for a month in the refrigerator, but they don't ever last that long....
I have found that daikon greens are an excellent addition to any dish of cooked Asian greens - in broth, stir fried, wilted and served with a variety of sauces. Fine texture and just a bit of tang to the taste.
We eat through a lot of radish roots quickly by roasting them or grilling them in a basket. I agree that the heat lessens their bite, but not in a bad way. Just a bit of fat and salt, and 400-500 degrees until they color without softening too much. You can also find internet recipes for turning the greens into a fresh pesto. Not half as delicious as the roasted roots IMO, but a good way to use what you have.
Fermented Radish Delicacy!
Shred radishes (with a cheese grader, salad master, food processor, etc), then add salt and cover! Make sure to add enough salt but not too much (just like you would with sauerkraut) and make sure the radish pieces are covered in their own juice (there will be plenty of juice that comes from them to cover fully). You can leave a loose cloth lid or air-tight lid for faster fermentation.
Along the lines of what Chauce posted: lactofermented daikon radish (I usually slice mine into coins or half moons) is incredibly easy to make and insanely delicious (although quite pungently flatulence-smelling).
Another sneaky use for radishes is to let them go to seed. The seed pods are juicy, shaped like little peas and don't have the full bite of the root. I did that one time with a "normal" radish and I'm trying it this year with French Breakfast radishes. Not sure if all radishes put out tasty seed pods.
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