About Radishes

November 7, 2011

About Radishes

The radish (Raphanus sativus) is an edible root is originally from southern Asia, and was cultivated in Egypt as early as 2780 BC. Early cultivars were black, and later white and red. Their many varieties are now eaten all over the world.

Raphanus, which in Greek means “quickly appearing,” describes the speed at which these marvelous roots germinate and reach maturity. The name radish itself comes from the Latin “radix,” meaning “root.”

Like mustard, horseradish, and wasabi, radishes contain both glucosinates and the enzyme myrosinase, which, when combined during chewing, react to create a spicy, peppery flavor. Eat crunchy radish roots plain, with salt and butter, or slice them into salads for a refreshing zing! My favorite way to eat radishes is to slice them and mix them with Greek yogurt, salt and pepper to make a great spread (see Radish and Yogurt Spread on the back page.) Radishes can also be steamed, or sliced and sautéed in butter. Though most of us eat the radish root, the leaves are also edible when cooked! Both leaves and roots are high in vitamin C.

One fun variety of radishes are “Easter egg” radishes. The name refers to their shape and colors—they are round and come in white, pink, red, and purple! Elsewhere in the country, they are harvested in springtime. Here we get them in time for Thanksgiving!

Radishes

Easter egg radishes

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