Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 2 -- Radishes

Roots Farm CSA Week 2: September 13 & 16

This Week:
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Carmen (sweet red bullhorn), Green Bells, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Kale!: Winterbor, Red Russian
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast

On the Farm . . .
We’re planting up a storm. Beets and radishes and turnips and arugula went in already this week, and we just got another round of transplants--chard and head lettuce--that we’ll be installing in the next couple of days. Seeding, weeding, transplanting, oh my! Thankfully, we’ve got some sweet fall weather to do it in.

In Your Basket
It’s so exciting! Kale is back! I know some of you may be thinking, really? Already? But the answer is yes. Kale and more kale. It’s so tender this time of year; the stems just snap apart at the slightest pressure. Those young, delicate, Fall kale leaves are always so amazing to me, and delicious! Hope you enjoy them. So yeah, we’re picking kale again. See ya later summertime. And radishes are on the scene this week! Beautiful Easter Egg radishes (multi-colored) and delicate, pink & white bi-colored French Breakfast radishes are all coming in this week. We’ve also got some braising mix coming along and more arugula, as always. We also have some Fall plantings of summer squash, cucumbers, and pole beans that are looking lovely. The summer squash may even be available next week or so. Yippee!

Raphanus sativus The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root). Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. Citizens of Oaxaca, Mexico, celebrate the radish in a festival called Noche de los RĂ¡banos (Night of the Radishes) on December 23 as a part of Christmas La Navidad celebrations. Locals carve religious and popular figures out of radishes and display them in the town square.

Storage: separate roots from greens and store separately in plastic bags. The greens should be used within 2-3 days, the roots within 2 weeks. Usage: radishes are good both raw and cooked. Radish greens are also edible; they have a spicy-peppery bite like mustard or turnip greens and generally need to be cooked. Radish roots are good raw in salads, on sandwiches, and in my favorite--spring rolls! You can also use radish roots in making kimchee if you like brewing your own ferments (I do!). Cooked, you can roast them, sautee them, deep fry them, and more; cooking mellows the spicy flavor. You can also substitute them for potatoes in some dishes. Don’t be afraid to apply heat to these pretty roots and don’t be afraid to experiment. Enjoy!

Radish & Cucumber Salad with Tofu
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp sugar
fresh ground black pepper
8 radishes, thinly sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch slices
toasted sesame oil (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
grated fresh ginger (optional)

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the tofu cubes; boil for 1 minute. Transfer the cubes to a clean dish towel to drain and cool. Stir the rice vinegar, oil, and tamari or soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined. Transfer the cooled tofu cubes to a serving bowl. Add the radish slices and cucumber; briefly toss. Add the dressing; toss again until the salad is thoroughly combined. Makes 4 servings.

Tender cubes of cold, barely cooked tofu are a wonderful treat in this salad. They provide a satisfying, soft complement to the crispy vegetables--similar to cubes of mild cheese. As for taste, with nippy radish slices and a delicious salty-sweet dressing, this salad has flavor to spare. Try adding a few drops of toasted (dark) sesame oil or tossing in some toasted sesame seeds for a deeper, more "authentically Asian" note. Ginger fans will enjoy a grating of fresh ginger in the dressing. From Farmer John's Cookbook.

Confetti of Radishes and Carrots
3-5 radishes
4-6 carrots
8 oz feta cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Shred radishes and carrots (with a grater or food processor). Toss with remaining ingredients. Chill & serve. Makes 8 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Beet & Daikon Slaw
1 yellow beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 red beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 6-inch daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp unsalted rice vinegar
1 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, cover, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste and serve. Makes 2 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

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 & freshly 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 Top Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, sliced
4 cups raw radish greens
4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
5 radishes, sliced

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and saute until tender. Mix in the potatoes and radish greens, coating them with the butter. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Mix in the heavy cream. Cook and stir until well blended. Serve with radish slices. Makes 6 servings. From (

Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seeds
20 medium radishes, trimmed and cut into fourths (use all red, or a mixture of red and white)
1 1/2 Tbsp roasted peanut oil
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used about 1 1/2 T)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash radishes, trim ends, peel if needed, and cut into same size pieces. I cut the white icicle radishes into diagonal pieces, and the red ones into half or fourths, depending on how big they were. Cut green onions into thin slices. Toss radishes with peanut oil, then roast about 20 minutes, stirring one or two times. When radishes are tender and starting to brown, remove from oven, toss with soy sauce to coat and mix in green onion slices. Put back in oven and roast about 5 minutes more. During final five minutes roasting time, put the sesame seed in a dry pan and toast over hot stove for about 2 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove radishes from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot. Makes 3-4 servings, recipe only slightly adapted from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.


Lizzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizzie said...

I'm excited to try out some new things with the radishes! Do you have any good kimchee recipes to share?