Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Food in Due Season: Radishes

This time of year I always have an abundance of crisp, refreshing radishes. Because radishes grow best in cool weather, they are a treat limited to spring and fall. They are easy to grow and can be planted in April for a spring harvest then again in late July through August for an autumn harvest. I usually plant radishes in the spring and let some of them go to seed for a fall harvest. If you want to save seed from them, you need to grow only one type because they will cross pollinate.

Radishes are also good keepers. If you harvest them in the fall and store them in a cold root cellar or refrigerator, they keep into the winter. The leaves of radishes can be prepared as greens or added to soups, though I prefer the more pungent taste of kale or turnip greens. The immature seed pods can also be eaten. I just tried them for the first time, sautéed with a little garlic salt and served with soy sauce. They were rather nice. Next time I will try them in a stir fry.

Radishes are a snappy addition to a salad. They form the basis of my personal favorite salad—radish arugula salad.

Radish and Cottage Cheese Salad

1 or 2 radishes, chopped
A few slivers of onions
1/3 Cup small curd cottage cheese (Homemade is best. Recipe to come later this week, and you don’t need a herd of goats to make it.)

Late Summer Variation:
Add ¼ cup chopped cucumber

Fall and Winter Variation:
Add 3-4 leaves arugula
And ¼ cup finely chopped cabbage or Chinese cabbage

Mix. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Repeat for additional servings.

“The eyes of all look to thee, and thou givest them their food in due season” (Psalm 145 [144]:15).

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