From the Brassicaceae family, radishes produce the most wonderful little tidbits of flavor. At Il Fiorello we grow our own radishes to use for tasting and pairing with olive oil and our salts. The two varieties are watermelon, with a lovely white color and mild clean taste, and Red Globe, with a sharp tangy and hot finish. I serve them with olive oils and just a sprinkling of our black Hawaiian sea salt.
The other variety is Black Spanish, which is dark black on the outside and pure white inside, making a striking look in a salad. Our friends and fellow farmers at the Erickson Ranch here in Suisun Valley grow this variety.
In France the traditional way to serve radishes is with dark bread (any good bread will do), salt and a little fresh cream butter. I love to serve this as a first course or appetizer. Thinly slice the radishes as a garnish in spring green salads. Use a mild olive oil like our award-winning Leccino that adds a silky finish to the vegetables.
You can eat the early green tops in a salad but use only the tender early greens. As they grow the tops become tough. We top the radishes and put the greens in the compost pile. The greens are reported to have a chemical that protects other vegetables from bugs, similar to marigolds. We need all the natural bug help we can get.
You can pickle radishes to give them a slightly different taste:
Thinly slice radishes. 1/2 cup will be good to start.
Place them in a clean glass canning jar.
Boil 1 cup of white vinegar, add 1-2 tsp salt
Pour over the 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
Let sit until cool.
Cover and chill in refrigerator.
Ready to use when completely chilled and they will last for over a week.
Use in salads, on sandwiches, or for just nibbling.
Enjoy your radishes! Good food is good for you.