The 2012 growing season is turning into a bit of a mixed bag of success and failure. What with the bonkers weather and summertime false starts, the one vegetable we can technically say we have a glut of is, the radish. Their a no fuss little vegetable, happy to grow anywhere in any soil. Though technically a brassica we exclude it from the rotation and tend to fit it in ad hoc, always happy to go with the flow the humble little radish. We like to grow them to mark where we have sown parsnips and in-between slower growing crops. Up and out just as the emerging parsnips need the extra light and space. Also it makes an excellent companion plant for the cucumber. Reputed to boost the cucumbers disease resistance. Something we tried last year to great success.
So hats off to the radish. However with all the rain we have been having of late they are swelling quicker than we can munch through them. We are over run with the peppery little fellas. As much as I love a radish they don’t always love me back (giving me shocking heartburn) and there’s only so many radishes in a salad I can take. So what else can you do with the humble little radish?
Other than as a salad garnish what else is there to the radish? I have been experimenting a little with the radish.Often I like to sprout radish seeds in a sprout jar, bag or sprouting rack. They pack a punch and are lovely added to a cheese and pickle sandwich. Not only that the sprouted radish is good for you! Reputedly beneficial for clearing mucus, it is wonderful for colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis and general chesty ailments. It may also be helpful for relieving asthma. What about cooking the radish? Lightly cooking takes out the peppery acid reflux inducing heat but leaves the peppery earthy taste. A lovely summery pasta sauce for linguine using radishes prepared with broadbeans, wet garlic, passata some lemon juice and basil or lemon thyme. Or for an extra treat serve with some shavings of a hard goats cheese. Goats cheese goes mouth wateringly well with both broadbeans and radishes. The radish also makes a peppery raita, glaze or lightly roast them with some root vegetables. Here’s an excellent article by Hugh Fearnly-Witingstall for the Guardian on the radish.
But one piece of advice. Take it from me don’t try to steam them. Yuck!