We’ve got some excellent radishes being harvested right now. At this time, we are growing a beautiful round red called “Rover,” as well as the “Easter egg” mix of reds, purples and whites. It’s such a useful crop – very quick to maturity; it crowds out weeds quickly, and it’s easy to direct seed and harvest. Some of the Asian, Daikon varieties can grow huge with roots so deep they actually aerate the compacted subsoil. We grow them in our standard 30” x 100’ beds. Oddly enough, they don’t take a lot of fertility, and they tend to create a nice, clean, weedless bed after harvest.
Not everybody loves the tangy heat you get when you bite into a radish, but, everyone should eat the greens. YES! I SAID EAT THE RADISH GREENS! Not only are they a really tasty addition to a wilted salad or to bulk up your spinach, they are chock-full of B6, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, AND, sulforaphane indoles which we have learned has powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and possibly anti-cancer effects. Check out Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s video on sulforaphanes and cruciferous vegetables. If you’re into health and nutrition, Rhonda Patrick is a brilliant and fascinating health scientist.
Ok, so radishes and radish greens are nutritious and healthy, right? Well, they are tasty, too. Chef Alexis Fouros told me years ago that the traditional French preparation for a cast-iron pan-seared steak is to deglaze the pan after removing the meat with a radish (with greens) sliced down the middle and used as a garnish. Since then, that’s what I do with radishes, beets, and even carrots. There are myriad great recipes online for radish greens preparation. Here are some of my favorites (with links) below:
I believe the reason that Americans stopped eating the greens of root vegetables is because industrial farms are spraying the tops with insecticides and fungicides. When you eat our root vegetables, you can, AND SHOULD, eat the greens. They are clean, pesticide-free, tasty and nutritious. Heck, we eat them in the field and just rub the dirt off. When you know who your farmer is, you can get back to eating the best parts of your vegetables and come up with new culinary twists on all your dishes. Eat your greens, folks!