The Vegetable: Radish
In his wonderful book Vegetables, James Peterson confesses that he wasn't a big radish fan before discovering the French habit of making a sandwich out of radishes on crusty bread slathered with lots of butter. This isn't surprising, since nothing will make you like a radish more than a whole bunch of butter -- unless it's creamy feta or mild goat cheese. Radishes are also great just dipped in salt, and no matter how you prepare them they always go beautifully with beer.
When to Buy Them
Spring radishes are mild, but as the outside temperature goes up so does the heat of the radish. By summer they can carry quite a bite. Some of us like hot, spicy radishes, but many people find them inedible as summer approaches. If you're not sure what camp you fall in, buy radishes now and again in early June to compare the taste.
Tips for Testing Radish Freshness
The best way to test the freshness of radishes is by their greens, which should not be wet or wilted, while the radish itself should have few, if any, cracks and shouldn't look withered or dry. Radishes lose their crunch after a few days in the refrigerator, so use them quickly. Store them in an open or perforated plastic bag -- if the bag is closed they'll get slimy. Avoid pre-packaged radishes, as it is impossible to tell their age.
- How do you like your radishes? If you have a great recipe, you could win a T-shirt and a link from the Food channel's Recipe of the Week feature! Show us what you've got on the recipe board!