Spicy and red: The little siblings of the Raphanus family
Thanks to their pleasant tang, radishes add spice to your salad, but also enjoyably tickle your taste buds when eaten by themselves. Discover all you need to know about these red root veggies.
The term «radish» stems from the Latin word «radix», which means «root». Quite a fitting definition, as radishes mature underground, where they are known to reach widths of up to 4 cm. In the 16th century, the root vegetable started gradually spreading throughout Europe.
Radishes are generally roundish, bright red on the outside and white on the inside. A few radish varieties are also white on the outside and have a longer stretched-out shape, similar to carrots. Radishes can be enjoyed raw after a thorough cleaning. When you take a bite, you will certainly notice the crunch before the mild to stronger spiciness gradually spreads throughout your mouth – a sensation that is caused by the mustard oils contained in the radish.
Bear in mind that you don’t necessarily have to throw out the green leaves you cut off your radishes: You can use them, for instance, to make a green salad, as you would with chard or spinach. Moreover, you can also blanch radish leaves or prepare them with other vegetables, vegetable broth, and some cream to create a delightfully creamy soup.
Due to the fact that they do well in greenhouses during the winter months, radishes are available all year round from the produce aisle. Do you have your own garden and wish to grow radishes yourself? Then it is best to sow the seeds in March. However, if you’d rather start sowing in May, you can do so with special spring varieties. After four to six weeks, your radishes are ready to be harvested and enjoyed.
|Calories||16 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||2.1g carbohydrate, 1.6g fibre, 0.1g fat, 1g protein per 100g|
|Season||all year round (from Switzerland)|
|Storage||cool and humid in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator or in a cool cellar|
|Shelf life||up to 3 days|
When you buy radishes, look out for fresh green radish leaves and make sure the outer skin is as intact as possible, which will guarantee a better taste. No matter how crisp your freshly bought radishes are, this freshness cannot be maintained for very long. You have about three days to consume your red root veggies before they dry out and wither. Radishes are best kept in a cool and humid environment.
For example, you can put them in a damp kitchen towel and store them in the cellar or your vegetable drawer. Alternatively, you could also use a bowl of water or an airtight plastic bag to keep the radishes fresh for as long as possible.
Before storing, however, you should always remove the radish leaves, because the root veggies lose a lot of water through them. Should these tips come too late because you wish to salvage your already wilted radishes, you can revive them by soaking in cool water. Be careful not to leave them in for too long, though, or they will lose their rich flavour.
These root veggies make for a particularly light and enjoyable raw food snack: radishes hardly contain calories and their mustard oils, which are responsible for their often highly pungent taste, are said to have antibacterial properties. If the spicy flavour is too overpowering for you, sprinkling the sliced radishes with a little salt will somewhat water down the taste.
They are not just a taste experience by themselves: sliced radishes are good in many different salads. How about a combination of potatoes, lettuce, chives and radishes, for example? A mild yoghurt dressing perfectly complements the rich aroma of the radishes. They also make a perfectly crisp and fresh topping for bread, bagels, or toast. When browsing through our recipe category, you are sure to find the perfect ingredients to go with your purchased or home-grown root veggies.
The National variety of radish is a parent variety, meaning that several varieties all come from the same original variety. Various National radishes evolved from this original variety and have all been given a number: National 2, National 3, National 4 and National 5. National 3 radishes are red and white with a round but flattened shape and are sometimes a little spongy. Since the leaves are no longer attractive by the time the radishes ripen, the radishes are sold in trays without their leaves. Like other radishes, National 3 are also delicious eaten raw in salads or on their own. But you can also roast or steam them; when cooked, the radishes are juicy but keep their shape and a good texture.
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