A bunch of radishes & how to store them.

Radishes. Always the very first garden snack to come up.

They may seem boring and kind of utilitarian but radishes are always one of my favourite things to pick from the garden. Especially now that I’m growing about 7 different varieties.

It’s soon going to be too warm to grow radishes, and I’ll have to remember to put another batch in closer to the end of summer. Radishes are like the elderly. They don’t like the heat.

Betty was over the other day and noticed that my radishes were about to go to seed. She did not notice this because she has a keen sense and love of gardening. She noticed it because she has a keen love of radishes.

Garden Radishes

This year the first radishes to ripen were the Icicle Radishes (long and white), the Cherry Belle radishes and the Purple radish from William Dam’s Easter Egg hybrid radishes.

I’ve found that anything purple from the garden (like Cubit’s Cosmic Purple carrots) absolutely GLOWS.  The purples are always my favourites.

 

Radishes In Garden

Fresh Radishes

Multi Coloured Radishes

Multi Coloured Radishes 2


cut-radishes-2

 

The best way to store radishes (whether from the grocery store or your garden) is to cut the tops off and put them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator.

They’ll stay crisp and crunchy and good for ages. Or you can do like most gardeners do and just eat them right out of the dirt.

Of course if you do that you have to walk around with a packet of salt in your pocket because there’s nothing better than a radish dipped in salt.  NOT sprinkled.  DIPPED.  I learned that little trick from my mother, who also dips her chicken, potatoes and toothpaste in salt.  She does that after drinking the olive juice from the jar.

If you ever want to buy my mother a present a salt lick would be a good way to go.

It’s not too late to have radishes like these.  You can give them a shot now, and if they don’t do well (as I said before radishes don’t like heat), you can plant them when the weather starts to get a tiny bit cooler, say around the beginning of August here in Southern Ontario.  By the time they germinate and pop up, the nights will be cooler but there will still be plenty of sun for them to grow.

Ditto for purple carrots by the way.

If you’re interested in growing your own salt lick I’m afraid you’re on your own.

 

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64 Comments

  1. ruth says:

    Pretty radishes. You don’t ever have trouble with little worms in them?

  2. Laura says:

    The only issue with eating them from the garden is hurting your tooth when you bite into a tiny little stone. Wash them, then eat them.

  3. Jessica says:

    Do you have any watermelon radishes in the mix? They are pretty, and tasty!
    Jess

  4. Mary says:

    Mine are still tiny in Minnesota! No fair!

  5. Deb says:

    I’m going to Toronto next month. Besides not growing radishes, what should I do while I am there? I’ve never been to Canada before. I realize this is off topic, but you’re the only Canadian I know.

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. Well, take the bus tour. I learned all kinds of stuff about Toronto by taking that! More people who live in Toronto should do it! You could go to a Blue Jays game, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the new Aquarium, shop on Queen Street West and East (funky, fun, original artists), shop in Yorkville (high end … Prada, Tiffany’s that sort of thing), Kensington market … I’ll keep thinking. I’m probably missing the most obvious things. Other people will chime in I’m sure. ~ karen!

      • Jody says:

        But wait there’s more…Toronto Eaton’s Centre, Centre Island, Yonge Dundas Square just to people watch, Old Fort York if you like history, the Waterfront, ROM, Hockey Hall of Fame. Get out of Toronto and head down the Niagara Pennusila to many wineries.

      • Patti says:

        This is just brilliant! My sister’s friend is coming to visit from Belgium and she’s never been to Canada before! Unfortunately, my sister has to work for the first 5 days of her visit, so she’s going to be flying solo, and KW doesn’t offer much for tourists without a car, really. So this is brilliant and I’m going to suggest this to her!

        Neat!

  6. Karin says:

    I already did harvest radishes twice here in stuttgart/Germany.
    Ok, the first ones were pregrown plants from a greenhouse…
    Now my sister Inki started to be in the radish – and ” growing my own vegetable in all kind of boxes “fever
    Good morning, Inki 😉
    The radish seeds are already in the mail! Hurry and collect some wooden fruit boxes!!

  7. Call Me Patty says:

    I grew French Breakfast Radishes and they are so pretty. They’re oblong, red with pure white tips. And they have a great flavour, mild and crisp. I’m just about ready to eat the 3rd harvest.

  8. Louise says:

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL photography! I’ve never been a radish fan, but I want some now – even just to display!
    You are so multi-talented!

  9. Cynthia Jones says:

    I must say you have beautiful radishes. Creepy sounding! Dipping in salt is the best. Maldon sea salt is yum. Dipping an apple into salt is also yum.

    On another note, I got my dog a himalyan salt lick and my husband and I spent quite a while demonstrating how to use it. Wish I had a photo of that. Said salt lick was banished to the bin eventually as they gather moisture from the air and then drip the moisture and salt onto the floor.

    Get one for Betty for Mothers Day or Christmas anyway at your local horse feed store. Comes already hung on a nice piece of rope.

    I had a very weird cousin who used to eat radishes dipped in salt and taught me to do so. He later became a necrophiliac and worked in a mortuary. True story.

    • Amber says:

      My mum makes a radish and chicken salad. I’ve always loved it. Now I’m not sure how to separate the radish from the necrophilia… Cynthia, I will think of you every time I eat a radish. That’s not actually a compliment.

  10. Kate says:

    Beautiful pictures and entertaining post, as usual! I have a question about the radish greens. I can’t grow anything so we subscribe to a CSA. Part of the past few deliveries has been radishes with greens attached. It seems a shame to not eat them but they didn’t taste goood raw. Any suggestions on how to cook. Are we even supposed to eat them? Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate – I’m sure someone, somewhere eats radish greens, but I’m not one of them. My chickens aren’t even particularly fond of them, lol. ~ karen!

  11. Jennifer says:

    I’ve never tried radishes dipped in salt, but I will the next time I come across one!

    Totally off-subject: Thanks to everyone’s recommendations, I am now hooked on Orphan Black. I was a skeptic before I saw the first episode but now am a true devotee. I now have the burning desire to go watch the last episode of Season One, even though I have to get up in 6 hours.

  12. Barbie says:

    Your radishes are beautiful! I love all the pictures of them. I love to photograph my veggies! We grow beautiful perfect “looking” radishes but they are completely inedible! We stopped planting them because they were terrible tasting! WAY to HOT!!!!! I actually ended up copping them and sauteing them like onions so as not to waste them completely!
    So now I am wondering if it was because they grew in the heat!! We could never figure out why they were so HOT….inedibly HOT…even for a hot radish lover!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie – Different radishes have different heats as well. Try growing French Breakfast Radishes. They’re mild but still very radishy. And the purple ones here that I grew were good. ~ karen!

  13. Dagmar says:

    I think your radishes look like sunshine in the belly. They bring back memories of the fresh bread and mayo sandwiches my mom gave us as kids, topped off with slices of radishes and lettuce leaves from the garden. Yummy, yummy. By the way, what do you do with the radish leaves, are they human-edible? Or do the chickens get them, or is it just compost. My bunny would go crazy for them.

  14. Debara Cochrane says:

    I eat radishes every day, just as a snack. I’m no longer allowed to dip them in salt for health reasons. I just wash, trim and store the radishes in a plastic bowl with a snap-on lid. I line it with paper towel to keep the radishes dry. They will keep for a month like that. This year I’m going to try growing radishes in a window box for year round harvests. I’ll let you know how that goes.

  15. Liesl Joubert says:

    Okay, has anyone tried this little baby?
    http://www.saltnews.com/heating-using-cleaning-storing-your-himalayan-salt-block/

    I would love to know how to do this (hint-nudge-wink). Karen, wouldya? couldya? willya?

  16. Farquist says:

    Not a radish fan. As a true Canadian, I should apologize, but as I am feeling feisty today, no apology will be forthcoming.
    Not sure how I feel about Toronto. Tired of it being all “hey, look at me” all the time. Always on about the Mayor, the Leafs, the Blue Jays, the Argos, the traffic, being able to get any consumer good whenever you want. But, I do love to visit. I do love to shop. We have been to the Hockey Hall of Fame a few times. My kids had a blast. I’m over the CN Tower, but if you’ve never been, it could be interesting. Definitely expensive.

  17. I found a cool way to keep radishes…I dehydrate thin slices in the oven and they can be stored as a snack or for salad toppers. They are DELICIOUS! Try it! You’ll grow them just for that!
    …And for the olive juice? Smart Betty must know the trick to stopping leg cramps. Take a swig of pickle or olive juice and you’re cured…cross my heart, works like a charm!

  18. Tigersmom says:

    Have you ever tried a radish dragged through butter and then salt? (this coming from someone who can turn a 90 calorie baked potato into a 2000 calories fat fest with her choices of toppings). It’s pretty yummy and may be a good way to tone down the heat when necessary.

    Your photographs are lovely. But so is your grammar and spelling and correct usage of words like – then and than, and your and you’re, and their and there. Nothing makes me suspect and discount information more than the misuse these words. Of course, I seem to be forgetting how to properly use commas these days, but I’m not writing a blog or I would look it up.

  19. Susan Mrenna says:

    For summer radishes, try the rat-tailed radish. You eat the seed pods, not the root, but they taste just like root radishes.

    • Karen says:

      Those are great! I almost grew them this year, but ended up not. Now of course I wish I had. They’re fun just because people have no idea what they are when you give them to them, lol. ~ karen

  20. Lynne says:

    I love raw radishes with some salt.

    A couple of years ago I got a particularly huge bunch from the organic grower at my local farmer’s market – lovely plump red radishes and a plethora of crisp greens so I tried something I’d never done before – I halved the radishes, tossed them with a bit of olive oil and salt and roasted them until they were tender crisp and starting to brown at the edges. Meanwhile I sautéed the greens with a little bit of butter and combined the two, finishing them with a bit more sea salt and cracked black pepper. Oh Em Gee!!!! Roasted radishes take on a sweet and vaguely turnip like taste and the greens maintain their bite. Heaven. I was in heaven. Mmmmmmmm. I ate the whole batch for my lunch with a piece of baguette.

    If you time the roasting just right the radishes will maintain most of their colour turning to a lovely fuchsia – longer doesn’t ruin the taste but they’ll gradually become a very soft pink.

  21. Ady says:

    Lovely radishes! The purple are the prettiest!
    My Mom and I love bread, butter, and radish sandwiches. The bread has to be thin sliced white bread and the radishes should be lightly salted. Great for breakfast!
    An aside: my Grandparents owned a feed store. I used to carry the rabbit salt licks around and lick them all day. We also used the lamb worming syringes as squirt guns to extinguish the workers’ cigarettes, but that’s an aside to the aside…

  22. These images look good enough to eat. If I only liked radishes… which I don’t. Makes me want to grow them anyway. 😉

  23. ~JackieVB says:

    I must be old before my time because I don’t like the heat either, of course the humidity down here in Virginia doesn’t help. As for radishes, I like to slice them and serve them with sour cream, sliced green onions and salt and pepper.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. See? And humidity is what I LOVE. I was just talking to a neighbour about this the other day. (Ontario is very, VERY humid in the summer) I love it when I walk outside and literally get hit in the face with the humidity. Love it. Of course, I love it considerably more now that I finally have central air conditioning. ~ karen!

  24. There is still hope for fall radishes! Thanks for the great tips.

  25. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Great post! Lovely photos, too. Love me some radishes 🙂 Would love to try the white and purple ones. Do they taste different from the red?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa – All radishes taste a bit different. Some are hotter than others, some are milder. French Breakfast radishes are quite mild while the Black ones with white centres are REALLY hot. If you read the seed packet it should say if they’re strong or mild. ~ karen!

  26. Karol says:

    I love Betty more and more… I used to eat the salt packed around the ice cream maker while I was turning the crank. My favorite part of homemade ice cream.

  27. Manisha says:

    The purple looks awesome! I didn’t like radishes all that much as I was growing up but now I love them. They are some of the first vegetables to come in my CSA box and I feel like the winter toxins are flushing out with each bite.

  28. Don’t forget to cook your radish tops. They are delicious!

  29. jeannie B says:

    Radishes are a really understated vegetable. They look beautiful in salads and I, too, was introduced to the
    “radish sandwich” years ago. Fresh whole grain bread slathered with mayonnaise and filled with thin slices of radish, salt and pepper. Must get some radishes soon. And I’ll try storing them in water in the fridge too.

  30. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Those are some pretty radishes Karen..In my family we always dipped them in salt too..I never tried growing them but those French ones sound good..I am trying some container veggie gardening this year..I have two tomato plants and a big planter full of loose leaf lettuce..all are doing well..in fact will be making a salad with some of the lettuce today..yum

  31. Grammy says:

    I never much cared for radishes, but my husband loves them. Since I have been the home gardener here for nearly 40 years, we didn’t usually grow radishes. No, I’m not mean, I just didn’t think of them. Anyway, now that my guy is in his dotage (not really, but we tell each other all the time how close we’re getting to “the kids” taking our keys away) I decided he should have a garden, too. So we got a kit and built a beautiful raised bed that doesn’t require him to kneel down to garden, filled it with good soil, and bought a handful of radish seed packets.

    It’s so hot here, the radish season is already over till the end of summer, but he did manage to grow several harvests of beautiful radishes before the heat set in. I showed him how to divide the bed so he knew which were which and could then determine which he liked more, etc. He now knows which he likes, about planting some now and some in a couple of weeks, how to water them and how to tell when they’re ready for harvest. I have pictures of him holding up his first fine harvest and it is a joy to behold.

    A Mexican friend told us radishes are best sliced and served over Mexican rice. He looked like he was going into a dream-state as he described it, so it must be true. We didn’t learn it till The Mister’s crop was already gone, but I look forward to giving that a try come Autumn. Perhaps I’ll become a radish lover.

  32. christine says:

    When I was a child, radishes tasted peppery and “hot” so I avoided them. Now, I simply don’t know how to prepare/eat them, so I never buy them. I’d love some inspiration!

  33. Debbie says:

    I don’t like radishes, but I love reading what you write. I still won’t eat a radish.

  34. Jackie Lovett says:

    your mother is my kindred spirit. Salt on everything and I dring the green olive juice too.
    love your blog btw

  35. Jackie Lovett says:

    thats drink the olive juice

  36. SarahP says:

    I always plant radishes just so I can get excited to see something pop-up in my garden so quickly. I’ve never tried them dipped in salt – but now I’m willing them to grow faster just to try it.

  37. Shauna says:

    Perfect timing, I just got radishes in my CSA box and am running out of room in the fridge.

  38. theresa says:

    I think one of the things I like best about this blog is that the comment section reminds me so much of a great cocktail party or my Wednesday night knitting support group…there are actually an number of different conversations going on at once and they all have something interesting to add to the mix–salt licks, radishes, visiting Toronto, gardening–but this way I can follow each…hmmm never thought of radishes as I don’t like them from the store but things from the garden taste better so maybe I should try after all.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, I’m not sure how that happened Theresa, but it’s true. I have a really good commenting community. ~ karen!

  39. Maria says:

    So your mom is addicted to salt? I don’t like salty things and I don’t like radishes but I am addicted to your blog. I read it even when you talk about things I’m not interested in just to see what you will say next.

  40. Deana says:

    I don’t grow my own radishes but when I get a whole lot on sale at the store we eat as many as we can raw, then I steam the rest and serve them with butter, salt and pepper. They taste like steamed cauliflower. They are also good in a cream sauce when you want to get fancy and impress. It’s funny how they taste like cauliflower when steamed and turnip when roasted. I like them any way I can get them. Will have to try the greens next time too.

  41. kelliblue says:

    Wow your radishes are so pretty! I can practically taste them … Grampa grew radishes that were some of the hottest I’ve ever had, but I don’t know what type they were (round, and reddish-pink with white tips and insides). And kohlrabi – hey, ya got any of that? We were always very liberal with the salt, too…we even put salt on melon of all types (try it), apples, peaches, tomatoes, etc. Mmmm! I’m with Betty on the salt thing – my fave martini is extra dirty, extra dry, with all that yummy extra olive juice and a 3-olive garnish I can get it.

    However, my ankles have since rebelled and tend to swell up like melons themselves if I even *look* at a salt shaker. The salt-free life is a B O R I N G one indeed. 🙁 But I will definitely have to track down some radishes again. Hope Whole Foods has some nice organic ones.

  42. Olga says:

    Nature is an amazing thing. Seems like just yesterday you had a winter outside of your window, and today you already have thing to pick in your garden. I must try growing some radishes in the fall, with some purple carrots.

  43. Michelle says:

    I’ve never been a fan of radishes (although I suspect that I would enjoy them more now than when I was little), even straight from the garden. My dad planted them every year. He tried getting me to eat radishes fresh from the garden dipped in salt. He also ate green onions straight from the garden (you peel the outermost leaf off and all the dirt comes with it…no need to wash) dipped in salt. I did learn to enjoy those and still like to eat them dipped in salt sometimes.
    Perhaps I should try radishes next year…or this fall.

    I’m totally curious about the steamed radishes mentioned above.

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