There is somebody in the house who’s not so fond of radishes, especially radish leaf soup or stir-fried radish pods, but I’ve just hit the jackpot!
I made something with radishes where the reaction was: “I can eat radish like that all day long!” I am sure that was an exaggeration, and I won’t serve this at every meal. But I must admit it was good.
In fact, the current crop of French Breakfast style radishes has peaked: they are gathering strengths to make seeds, and you can tell because the root is starting to a be little hollow. Still… I can’t throw them out.
Thanks to VeggieBelly, I’ve had fresh pickles on my mind – hers was mango, but hey, I don’t have mangoes, I have radishes – and what else do I have growing now? let’s see spring onions and cilantro – lots of cilantro as a matter of fact, and it’s starting to bolt because it did not like the few days above 90F (32C) that we had – so I need to use it.Voila, Quick Pickled Radish Salsa was born! We’ve tried it with several dishes, and we like it best with stir-fry beef, simple pork stew, hamburger steak and served with rice. Definitively need the rice to make up for the saltiness (and heat) of the pickle. And inspired by Marisa of Food In Jars who puts everything in jar, I jarred it. (if the radish salsa is not consumed right away, the radishes will start to turn pink throughout, continue to exude some juice and the texture will change somewhat – still very good – just not the same).
Quick Pickled Radish Salsa Read more
My frugal peasant instincts won’t let me throw out (OK, compost) perfectly good to eat radish leaves. Of course, there is somebody in the house (who shall rename nameless) who does not think that radish leaves are perfectly good to eat.
I still, sometime, manage to sneak them in soup and stir fries, when the leaves are young. There are a lot more difficult to sneak in if the leaves are mature, because they can be… mmm… fibrous.
But I like cream of radish leaf soup. It tastes good, it’s thrifty. And it’s nutritious: lots of Vitamin A, B1, B2, C & Iron. Bottom line: Don’t discard the leaves, that’d be a waste. If the leaves are stringy, pass the puréed soup through a fine-meshed sieve (or a “chinois” if you’ve got one of those) to ensure it’s smooth.
Cream of Radish Leaf Soup is a recipe I submitted to Flavor Magazine for the Seasonal Table of their April 2009 issue, along with Radish Tartines and Homemade Fresh Farm Cheese. Scroll to page 2 for my recipes. But they are other nifty recipes there that I encourage you to look at, including Caramelized Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream from Heidi Morf of Twenty Four Crow (Heidi used to own Four & Twenty Blackbirds) , Morel Mushroom Risotto with Rosemary Cream and Chive Oil from David Scales of the Inn at Meander Plantation – a recipe I really should try if more morels deign to be hunted this year… and a few other early spring recipes. I am in good company.
Pictures? How about farm cheese in the making?
Fresh cheese in the making: curds & whey
I am told that open-face radish sandwiches are an acquired taste.
I am told – very firmly – that cream of radish-leaf soup is undoubtedly an acquired taste.
I still plant radishes. Those ‘Radis de 18 Jours’ are young, crisp, mildly spicy and pleasantly rosy. Still… not quite “18 day” radishes as the French name would have you believed. I sowed them on the last day of March and picked them on May 1, so they are 31-day radishes. Maybe in good French garden soil that’s been manured for 300 years they become edible in 18 days? not here, at least not this early in spring. I have just sowed some more, let’s see if they are of edible size on May 19… Because I don’t have 298 years!
Note the tiny carrots seedlings in between the rows of radishes: they were sowed at the same time, but carrots take so darn long to come to any respectable size!
The best way to eat those just-pulled from the garden radishes is with a little salt and some really good butter.
The leaves are young enough that they just get shredded and tossed, at the last minutes, in whatever is cooking.
I won’t make radish-leaf soup for a few weeks yet.
But I will enjoy those petite blushy crunchy snacks!
(I also planted ‘Champion’)