Has your menu been tasting and looking a little vanilla lately? Radishes are a healthy and delicious way to add some zest to your dishes. Packed full of antioxidants, vitamins C and B6, and minerals like potassium and iron, colorful radishes are quick and easy to grow in your home garden and inexpensive at the supermarket. While there are many types of radishes, these five are sure-fire conversation starters that will impress your guests.
Just as the name suggests, these radishes look like a watermelon when you cut them. The outside is green while the inside is bright pink. These radishes are 3-6” in diameter and have a slightly sweet, peppery taste to them.
Watermelon radishes can be enjoyed fresh, roasted, or pickled, and they make a great addition to any salad. Try a sliced watermelon radish in a fennel and apple salad tossed in an apple cider dijon vinaigrette and topped with Pecorino cheese. Add even more zest with a dash of lemon juice or fresh mint leaves. The colorful magenta hue will make your salad pop!
Black Spanish Radish
Black on the outside and white on the inside, the Black Spanish Radish is commonly found in Halloween mixes, named for their variety of fall tones. This particular radish is best known for its health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and regulating hormone imbalances. Plus, it has a spicy taste that will add zing to any dish.
While you can consume these radishes raw, some also enjoy them shredded and marinated in saltwater for a few hours to reduce the strong spice. They can be dried, then topped with oil and vinegar and herbs. Alternatively, try these radishes in a roasted vegetable platter alongside asparagus, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes, and beets. Season with rosemary, thyme, and cumin, and then top with balsamic glaze.
The Helios Radish will add a sunny splash of color to any meal. This yellow-skinned root with a white center is also part of the Halloween Mix family. However, the Helios Radish has a much milder taste than the spicy Black Spanish.
Try adding a sliced Helios Radish and some dijon mustard to your avocado toast for a new twist on an old favorite. For a fabulous spinach frittata, add three small diced Helios Radishes, plus celery and leek, and then top with basil and feta. For a more robust spinach frittata, add potatoes and cheddar cheese with the Helios Radish.
Another member of the Halloween Mix, the Purple Plum Radish has deep purple skin and a similar shape and size to a plum. This radish has a crisp white inside and a mildly spicy taste. Try a purple plum radish as an addition to any salad, or whip up a Jalapeno Radish Slaw made with cabbage, jalapenos, Purple Plum Radishes, lime juice, and cilantro. This colorful slaw adds some extra crunch and heat to your next Taco Tuesday family dinner! For a milder and sweeter slaw, add mayonnaise and apple and use it as a topping for a barbeque sandwich.
The Japanese Daikon radish could easily be mistaken for a white carrot. It looks nothing like the traditional round, red-colored radishes common to the western hemisphere. But these radishes have been a long-time staple in Asian cuisines, thanks to their spicy crunch and salty, pickled taste like sauerkraut.
In fact, Japanese Daikon radishes, known as Takuan, are traditionally served pickled. Oshinko Maki is a popular type of sushi containing pickled Takuan wrapped in sushi rice and seaweed (nori). If you are vegetarian or vegan, this type of sushi could become your next favorite.
Adding these vibrant radishes to your family favorites will definitely add some flair to your salads, slaws, roasted veggies, and sushi. Give these radish varieties a try, and your tastebuds will thank you!