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Embracing the Remarkable Radish
Embracing the Remarkable Radish
January 10, 2022
Embracing the Remarkable Radish
Piquant. Spicy. Peppery.
Even if you hadn’t read the title, you’d already know what we’re talking about: the radically ravishing raw radish. People have enjoyed this remarkable root vegetable for thousands of years, first in China and then as the veggie worked its way west. Ancient Egyptians, for example, ate radishes before they’d even begun to build the pyramids—and ancient Greeks and Romans also adored them. (The Greeks even offered the god Apollo gold radish replicas!)
They didn’t spread beyond those borders for quite a while, though, with the radish first mentioned in Germany in the 13
century and England in 1548. Shortly afterwards, people grew radishes in North America: in Mexico in 1565 and Massachusetts in the British Colonies in 1629.
come in a range of flavors, shapes, textures, and hues. Here are the ones we grow at The Chef’s Garden:
Black Round Radish
: Also called the black Spanish radish or Erfurter radish, this variety is oh-so deliciously hot and spicy, a globe-shaped pungent treasure with deeply black wrinkled skin and snowy-white flesh. These startling, contrasting hues add eye-catching appeal to your plates with the texture offering up a satisfying crispy crunch.
Cherry Bomb Radish
: This mildly spicy choice also has a crispy, crunchy texture and offers stunning visual contrast. The outside is a gorgeous cherry red while the inside is bright white.
French Breakfast Radish
: With just a dab of sweet butter and touch of salt, this peppery variety adds delicious flavor to dishes. The texture is delicate while the bright red pops of color are bold, indeed.
Grape Bomb Radish
: Crunchy and crispy, these flavorful marvels resemble—you guessed it—grapes in their appearance. You can surprise and delight diners with this unexpected vegetable.
Lime Green Radish
: Talk about unexpected! This oblong-shaped radish has a light green skin and white flesh. Exceptionally spicy, the texture is crispy and crunchy.
Micro Purple Radish
: Yes! Radish as a microgreen. Add layers of fresh radish taste with a touch of heat at the end with these richly hued, heart-shaped leaves in purple and green. Texture is crispy, crunchy, and succulent, and even the deep purple stems are deliciously edible.
Mixed Fall Radish
: Enjoy the absolute best of the day’s harvest with radish flavors ranging from sweet and mild to hot, peppery, and pungent. Use the range of eye-catching colors and sizes to paint your dishes with finesse.
Petite Mixed Radish
: This petite mix can contain French breakfast, cherry bomb, grape bomb, and daikon radishes—and no matter what’s in your mix, you can count on the maximum of freshness, flavor, and nutrition.
Purple Ninja Radish
: This is a unique radish with gorgeous red skin. The flesh gradually evolves from red to white with red speckles as you approach the white core. Flavor: outstanding and spicy; texture: firm.
: Skin on these delectable radishes ranges from white to light green with bright pink flesh that reminds one of watermelon. Slice these lovely radishes to benefit from contrasting colors on the plate and surprise diners with a radish that’s mild to sweet-peppery.
You may notice that these radishes are (with one exception) listed alphabetically. We’d (briefly!) thought about asking Farmer Lee Jones to list them in order of his favorites—but any of you who remember when we asked him to do that with tomatoes will know why we quickly changed our minds. (We’d find him for weeks afterwards, mumbling the names of tomato varieties and trying to put them on order.)
At The Chef’s Garden, we agonized how to alphabetize “mixed fall radishes”—as an “m” or “f”—and we were relieved to see that “petite mixed radish” belonged in the same place in the list whether we used a “p” or an “m.” And, at this point, we’re going to change the subject!
Health Benefits of Radishes
Dr. Amy Sapola,
our farm’s new health and wellness director, created this list. She is a
Certified Wellness Coach, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP), with a Doctor of Pharmacy with a B.S. in Nutrition. She also completed a two-year fellowship with honors in Integrative Medicine from the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM).
You’ll see her insights included in posts we create going forward—and, without further ado, here is Amy’s list of the health benefits of radishes:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes radishes on the list of
Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables
Radishes contain naturally occurring nitrates, which may help to reduce blood pressure during periods of high blood pressure; at rest in someone with a disease state (like cardiovascular disease); or during exercise in healthy persons without having a reducing effect when blood pressure is normal. (There may be no effect on people on hypertensive medications.)
Radishes contain glucosinolate and isothiocyanate, which may help to regulate blood sugar levels and increase adiponectin production.
Radishes are a good source of fiber (¼ lb. of radish contains 1.6 grams of fiber) and so this veggie provides plenty of digestive benefits.
Radishes are a reliable source of potassium (1/4 lb. of radish contains 233 mg of potassium), an important mineral that many Americans just don’t get enough of.
Radishes are a good source of calcium (¼ lb. of radish contain 25mg of calcium). Calcium helps support bone and cardiovascular health.
A number of research studies have shown a connection between regularly eating cruciferous vegetables, including radishes, and a lower risk of cancer.
This wonderful root vegetable is, of course, delicious and nutritious when raw. That said, here are
that can consider as you create your own uniquely creative dishes and menus.
Fried Egg on Toast with Salted Herb Butter and Radishes
Fermented Winter Radish
Pan Roasted Winter Radish
Mixed Green Salad with Shaved Root Vegetables
Relishing the Radish
In another post that we wrote about radishes, titled “
Petite Radishes: Miniature-Sized Delights
,” we quote an NPR article where the writer remembers her first radish sandwich. Made for her by a friend, it included “long, elegant, demurely tapered French breakfast radishes.”
She remembers the sandwich prep well as her friend used a staccato rhythm as she cut the radishes on a wooden board. Next up, she “slathered slices of brown bread with sweet butter then piled high the tiny pink-white rounds between them. The first bite was a surprise of textures and flavors, crunchy and soft, creamy and piquant. I still remember standing at the kitchen counter, huddled over the cutting board, as tiny radish rounds fell from our overstuffed sandwiches with each bite. We'd catch them on the first bounce off the cutting board, greedily stuffing them into our mouths.”
Radishes in Pop Culture
When a giant one grew through the pavement in Japan in 2005, someone named it the Dokonjo Daikon, and this veggie inspired toy shops to stock a “cuddly giant radish.” (Kid you not. You can’t make these things up!)
Did you know that the name of the fairy tale character Rapunzel supposedly came from her mother’s cravings for radishes? Or that
once praised a musical group called Radish?
Plus, here’s a thought. If radishes had personalities, we bet they’d be spunky and direct, feisty and fabulous!
Regeneratively Farmed Radishes
At our farm, we grow our radishes slowly and gently in full accord with nature, treating the soil we grow them in as their own cherished crop. We focus on farming as our grandparents and great-grandparents did while also benefiting from today’s technology in our agricultural research lab.
At The Chef’s Garden, we balance the physical, biological, and chemical health of our soil in the most optimal ways. Why? Because all life begins in the soil and, as it becomes increasingly healthier, we then grow healthy crops that are bursting with flavor, nutrient dense for healthy people and a healthy planet.
In fact, independent testing has shown that our regeneratively farmed crops have up to 500% more in mineral content than the USDA baseline.
Order Freshly Harvested Radishes Today
First, thank you for choosing us to be your personal farmer! If you’re already a treasured client, please contact your product specialist to talk about which radish varieties are at the absolute peak of flavor and nutrition and to let us know what radish varieties you need for your creative dishes and menus.
If you’re new to The Chef’s Garden, we’re thrilled that you’re here and that you’ve decided to join top chefs and restaurants from around the world who use our fresh vegetables, microgreens, herbs, and edible flowers. We think you’ll appreciate
The Chef’s Garden difference
, which includes crops brimming with flavor and nutrition, delivered directly to you with outstanding red bow tie serve.
We’re truly proud of the deep and authentic relationships we have with chefs and are relentlessly and passionately committed to delivering exactly what you need.
To get started, just fill out this
. Welcome to the farm family!
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