Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 3 -- Radishes!

Roots Farm CSA Week 3: April 26

This Week:
-Sweet Charlie & Chandler Strawberries
-Sweet Onions (“Vidalia-type Yellow Granex)

-Swiss Chard or Kale
-Braising Mix
-Hakurei Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, French Breakfast Radishes
-Lettuce Mix

On the Farm . . .
Wow--I go away for one week and everything just explodes into growth out here! The plants have doubled in size! And my goodness, the weeds are beginning to make their presence known. Wow. I’m just so impressed how things grow and grow. Next week our Summer CSA starts, so we’re gearing up for the full swing of summer. If we weren’t busy little bees before, we’re about to become them now.

Storage: remove the greens from the roots and store separately in plastic bags. Like all greens, radish greens will wilt with air exposure. The roots should keep well for a week or more, but are best-tasting and most nutritious the fresher they are. Usage: radishes and young turnips are somewhat interchangeable in recipes. Both can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, boiled, baked, roasted, and probably grilled, though I haven’t tried that one yet. They also make good pickles. You can slice them thinly and eat them with butter, grate them into salads, add them to stir-fries. The possibilities continue. Don’t be afraid to experiment with cooking them--their texture turns from crunchy to smooth and delicious. Have fun!

Mediterranean Bean & Radish Salad
1 cup dried baby lima beans (1/2 lb)
1 cup peeled diced cucumber
1/2 cup sliced and quartered radishes
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill
10-15 kalamata olives
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt, to taste

Soak and boil lima beans according to package directions (about 30-45 minutes). They should be cooked but firm. In a medium-size serving bowl, combine beans, cucumber, radishes, dill, olives, and onion. In a small jar, shake together olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt. Pour over salad and toss. Serve at room temperature or cold. Makes 4 servings. From The Food and Wine of Greece.

Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens and/or Arugula
1/4 c. butter
1 lb radishes
4 c. radish greens or arugula
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
salt & fresh ground black pepper

Radish greens and arugula both have a peppery bitterness that mellows slightly when they are cooked. You can use either radish greens or arugula, or both, for this recipe.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cook. Return skillet to stove. Put the green or arugula in the skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and radishes to the skillet; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Radish & Potato au Gratin
1 lb potatoes
1/2 lb radishes
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
3 oz cheddar cheese
3 oz monterey jack cheese
2 cups whole milk
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 cup baking dish (I did 2, 8-inch glass pie dishes). Wash and slice potatoes and radishes into 1/2 inch thick slices. Boil until fork-tender. Drain and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and cook until thick, about 4-6 minutes (sauce will coat the back of the spoon). Add salt and pepper. Take off heat. Toss potatoes and radishes with salt and pepper and fold in cream sauce. Pour into baking dish(es) and sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes.

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