Ingredient: Radishes

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Bill’s farm market opened last week (up here we’re just entering a world of bounty now. Takes a while in these parts). I remember last October I asked Bill about some radishes, really wanting to make a particular dish with all of you. Didn’t do so well this year, he said, just don’t have any. I was bummed, but regrouped on some delicious leeks in olive oil. The radishes, then, were the first thing that caught my eye last week, and not just because there wasn’t much else in from the farm yet. These radishes were so beautiful they practically stole the show from the flowers, coming up in quite the same array of colors.

I always thought radishes were far nicer to look at than to eat. It’s that burn, reminiscent of their cousins horseradish and wasabi, that made me feel slighted by them. Which is strange, because I love cousins, especially horseradish and wasabi.

Then along came these beauties, called Easter Egg radishes, that have changed my feeling for radishes completely. The flavor borders on sweet, which is always a plus in my book, but the kind of vegetal sweet that keeps them savory. That sweetness paired with the crisp, snappy texture of these radishes, and I’m dreaming up all kinds of ways to eat them, and not just admire them, which would be just fine too.

I hope you can find Easter Egg radishes at your version of Bill’s. Pick up a bunch, but don’t eat them all up right away as you’ll be tempted to do with your evening cocktail or as a snack at 3:00—they’re going to star in a lovely, refreshing Lebanese-style salad on your table this week of the longest of long summer days, at last.

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  1. Roger Toomey says:

    Radishes get pungent from weather stress. Heat, short water or both.

    If you are growing your own, plant them as early in the spring as possible and make sure they don’t beg for water but not so much that they spend 24 hours in mud. A second planting can be made in the fall about 60 days before you expect the first freeze. Then one can actually plant them and lettuce as late as the ground can be worked and they will come up in the spring with perfect timing.

  2. Bill B. says:

    We were at Bill’s the other day and the only thing that caught my eye were the Radishes!

  3. Flori Schutzer says:

    Perfect timing! I love radishes and planted too many that are flourishing in my garden. Then my brother had to leave town just after a trip to the farmers market and delivered a bag of radishes among all his other produce to my refridgerator which already contained a bowl of radishes from my shopping trip. You can only crunch so many with a cool refreshing adult beverage…

    I’ll look forward to the recipe!

  4. Diane Nassir (My maternal grandmother was an Abowd) says:

    Maureen, you ceaselessly amaze: you have elevated the humble radish to levels of exultations, and reignited my desire for the salads my mother and father placed on the Sunday table.
    (Never ever thought about buying white radishes before–I will next time I see them).

  5. Michelle Deiter says:

    beautiful … love your radish photo’s!

  6. Shirley Dave says:

    I like to crunch on radishes from time to time. I have never seen this look like this. What a great centerpiece! Are you the photographer?

  7. allison F. Lange says:

    OMG… How do you make radish’s even look yummy!!!! LOVE your photo’s!!!
    We have to get together in July!!!