In praise of the humble radish

Like Nigel Slater, my heart always melts when I see a bunch of radishes. There is something about the shape and colour, the bright red and the contrasting green leaves, that screams buy me and eat me. Unlike Nigel, I am more than content with the ‘round, red, clown noses’, that add so much colour to a salad or dinner plate. There is nothing better than biting into a crisp, peppery radish with just a little salt and perhaps some butter.

The radishes here are often large and bulbous, but no less tasty for all that.  They are easy to grow, of course, and probably I should just get around to buying some seeds and having some fresh from the garden. But for now, I am content to buy.

Little, red clown noses

Some of this latest bunch are going to go into a quick pickle.  The original recipe calls for daikon, but with only two of us in the house, it isn’t the most practical thing to buy, so I have made this very successfully using ordinary radishes. It is a crisp, fresh summery accompaniment alongside any strong tasting dish.

Peel and finely chop a couple of carrots into matchsticks.  Chop up a few radishes (depending on size) into equally small pieces.  Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper to taste.  Add the vegetables and chill for at least 30 minutes.  You might need to adjust the quantities to suit your own tastes. I also added some fresh mint leaves this time around. Recipe adapted from Annabel Langbein Celebrate Summer.

A fresh crunch

And still on radishes and mint, I added both to a recent tabbouleh.  The extra crunch was an excellent addition as well the beautiful contrast of the red with the green.

A version of tabbouleh with radish, cucumber, mint and parsley





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