Radish Relish

radish relish.jpgRadishes are fun to grow because the seeds take only about three weeks to mature. I planted mine too close together this time, and unfortunately the plants that didn’t have enough space to grow and develop didn’t produce any radishes, but that’s ok. There were so many that turned out perfectly!

I was able to move some seedlings to spread them out, but I always find that as careful as I am not to disturb the roots, transplanted seedlings get a little stressed out and need time to recover. Most ended up with the space they needed, although some of the crowded plants produced radishes with funny elongated shapes! No matter the shape, they all taste good!

Did you realize that you can eat the green leafy tops? I think they taste great sauteed with some butter. If you are feeling adventurous, though, try this amazing radish top soup recipe.

One of the happiest moments in life (for me, at least) is when I realize that something in my garden that I’ve nurtured and grown for so many days is finally ready to eat! No matter what it is – whether I pick a leaf of basil or pull a radish out of the ground, I hold it and turn it in my fingers for a few seconds just to admire how perfect it looks.

Yes, especially if it is a funny-shaped radish, I say that nature’s imperfections are the nuances of perfection.

I always feel sad thinking of all the perfect produce that gets tossed. It never reaches the grocery store shelves, just because it might not be “the right” shape or color…whatever that is!?

Radishes are so cute because they pop out of the soil a little bit when they’re ready to harvest. You can just move the greens aside to get a look at the bottom of the plant. If it has been almost three weeks and you still can’t see what looks like a little red ruby poking out of the soil, just wait a few days & try checking again.

IMG_8501.jpg This radish is volunteering to be eaten: “Pick, me! I’m ready!”

The hotter the weather, the hotter the radish. You can grow these all season, but if you prefer a very mild tasting radish then plant seeds in April. It has been pretty hot in NYC, and my radishes are on the spicy side!

Now let me introduce you to my new radish recipe:

I loved the sound of the name,”radish relish” and a relish was actually  my original concept idea. I can see now, though, that it is probably more appropriate to call this recipe a salad. But I am keeping “radish relish” because I don’t like the sound of “radish salad.” Feel free to suggest a better name.

For this recipe (and all of my recipes) my concept tends to morph quite a bit during the development phases. But, heck, that is why we call it “recipe development,” not “recipe creation.” This is kinda what happened –  I thought I’d use mostly radish, but the radishes were so very flavorful and spicy! I knew they’d still be enjoyable if I could balance out the flavor and texture so it wasn’t overwhelming. I found out that minced radish in dressing gets really soggy. Not good. For the right texture, I needed to chop large pieces of radish and I did the same for all ingredients. (so pieces are still small/bite-sized, but larger than I originally envisioned.)

Be sure to prepare the dressing in a separate bowl so it will be perfectly blended before you add it to the salad. This is a recipe that is great with shrimp or grilled halibut. You could boil or roast some baby red potatoes to go perfectly with this recipe too. Or, mix in 1/2 cup of farro or wheat berries to bulk it up with whole grains. Enjoy!

RADISH RELISH

In a large bowl, combine:

  • Radish (1/2 cup, sliced)
  • Fennel (1/2 cup of 1-inch ribbon-pieces) *see my instructions below, not too hard to make at all!
  • Green onion, sweet vidalia onion & red onion (1/4 cup of each type, diced)
  • Cucumber (1/2 cup, chopped) Skins ok, but avoid seeds
  • Celery (1/2 cup, chopped)

Stir to combine the ingredients for dressing separately:

  • Mint leaves (2 Tbsp, in pieces)
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • Plain greek yogurt (1/3 cup)
  • Cider vinegar (1 Tbsp)
  • Dill (3 Tbsp, chopped)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

*For fennel ribbons: rim the stalks from the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layer. Cut the bulbs in half lengthwise and core. Then use a veggie peeler to shave the fennel into ribbons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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