On a whim, in late April, I sowed half a packet of six-year-old radish seeds. Only a couple of short rows in a raised trough style planter. The packet had been languishing in a basket in the basement, along with many other packets of old seed……seeds purchased with good intentions of getting serious about establishing a viable kitchen garden, but for a variety of reasons never quite getting it accomplished.
I was surprised when many tiny green sprouts began to emerge from the soil! Not only did they grow quickly, but they grew thickly! Expecting a poor germination rate, due to the age of the seed, I had sowed more densely than recommended on the seed packet. Then, seeing their desire to GROW! – once released from their long slumber and feeling the warm soil between their toes – I just couldn’t bring myself to pluck and thin those tiny green bits of life, as was recommended on the seed packet. So…….I’ve been enjoying small harvests of small mild radishes for about 30 days now. (I have since learned that the young seedlings can be enjoyed – roots, sprouts, and leaves – in salads or as a bit of peppery crunch minced on top of crème cheese crostini. I’ll be plucking and thinning my autumn sowing in hopes of harvesting more fully developed ruby red radishes. And, likewise, delighting in experimenting with ways to enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of the “pluckings”!)
Having been raised up in a family of raw radish eaters, there was never the need to explore other ways to prepare them. My taste and tolerance for raw radish has diminished and so I’ve been experimenting with some new ways to enjoy their peppery goodness. Two of my favorites so far:
Pan Roasted Radishes and New Red Potatoes
- Radishes, tops and tails removed, halved lengthwise
- New red potatoes, skins on, halved or quartered
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves, smashed, skin removed
- Kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Toss radishes and potatoes in a lightly oiled, pre-heated cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, continue to cook for about 6 – 10 minutes, until radishes and potatoes are just slightly charred & fork-tender, stirring or tumbling occasionally. Add butter, fresh thyme sprigs, and smashed garlic – all to your taste. Increase heat to medium-high again, stirring often, allowing garlic to slightly toast. Remove garlic and thyme stems, season with salt, and serve.
Sauteed Cabbage, Radish & Sausage with Gorgonzola
- Savoy cabbage, ½ medium sized head, chopped
- Radishes, medium sized bunch, tops & tails removed, halved lengthwise
- Cooked sausage, 1 or 2 links, sliced (Andouille, Bratwurst, Smoked Sausage, Kielbasa – any type of flavorful sausage that you prefer)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea Salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Gorgonzola cheese – crumbled
Generously coat bottom of skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add cabbage, radish, and sausage slices. Saute, stirring or tossing frequently, until cabbage and radishes are tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir, remove from heat. Top individual servings with crumbled Gorgonzola and serve warm. Delicious as a left-over meal or side dish – warm or cold. Reserve and refrigerate extra gorgonzola in a separate container from the other ingredients. Add gorgonzola to left-overs just before serving/eating for best flavor and texture.