Ingredient Spotlight: Radishes

Cook, In Season, Ingredient Spotlight, Spring

Radishes

Spring is the best time to find small, rosy, tender radishes—they add an irresistible crunch to seasonal salads. Read on for our best tips for choosing, storing and working with radishes, plus some of our favorite ways to use them.

What to Look For

Regardless of their shape, size or color, radishes should be firm, with smooth skins and unwilted green leaves. Trim away the greens before storing. Keep small radishes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and large ones for up to 2 weeks.

RadishesRadish Varieties

In addition to the familiar round red radishes, there are thin white ones, known as icicle radishes; Easter egg radishes of cheerful purple, white, lavender or pink colors; French breakfast radishes with elongated, two-toned red and white roots; and pungently flavored black radishes. Large watermelon radishes are so-called because of their combination of pale green skin and pinkish red flesh.

Prepping

Scrub radishes under cold running water and trim both ends, unless you’re serving them as an hors d’oeuvre; in that case, you may want to leave about an inch of the leaves intact as a pretty garnish. If the radishes are not as crisp as you’d like, put them in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate for a few hours to refresh them.

Simple Preparations

Radishes are best eaten raw in fresh salads, as a palate-cleansing accompaniment to sandwiches, or simply dipped in salt and served with buttered bread. Like other root vegetables, they can also be boiled, steamed or sauteed.

Your Radish Toolkit

Radishes

 

 

Recipes

Radishes with Butter & Herbed SaltRadishes with Butter and Herbed Salt

 

There’s a reason this classic recipe shows up in so many cookbooks: it’s lovely. Make sure you use radishes that are as fresh as possible (we have a soft spot for the French breakfast variety here!) and salt that’s light and flaky.

Gorgonzola Dip with CruditésGorgonzola Dip with Crudités

 

Crunchy radishes—especially the colorful watermelon variety—make wonderful crudites, particularly when paired with a creamy, flavorful dip.

Baby Lettuces with Radishes and Spring HerbsBaby Lettuces with Radishes and Spring Herbs

 

Tender young lettuces, sliced radishes and fresh herbs are tossed with a simple vinaigrette to create a salad that captures the essence of spring.

Watermelon Radish Salad with Avocado VinaigretteWatermelon Radish Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

 

Here, the mild watermelon radish is thinly sliced, then tossed with romaine lettuce, cilantro and an avocado vinaigrette to make a refreshing crisp-creamy salad.

Celery & Herb Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Anchovy VinaigretteCelery & Herb Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Anchovy Vinaigrette

 

This flavorful mix of thinly-sliced radishes, celery and hard-boiled eggs would be lovely served as part of a buffet with grilled fish or chicken.

Shaved Fennel, Radish and Apple Salad

 

You might not think to pair a peppery radish, anise-scented fennel and sweet apple together, but  in this salad, a punchy grapefruit vinaigrette ties them all together.

Green Bean Salad with Sweet and Sour Mustard VinaigretteGreen Bean Salad with Sweet and Sour Mustard Vinaigrette
In this delicious riff on the classic green bean salad, we add earthy chickpeas, crunchy radishes and crumbled bacon, all tossed with a sweet and sour mustard vinaigrette.
Grilled Asparagus and Radish SaladGrilled Asparagus and Radish Salad
Grilling asparagus and radishes in a mesh pan imparts a subtly smoky flavor to this warm spring salad while preventing you from losing any food to the fire.
Chicken Tostadas with Radish SlawChicken Tostadas with Radish Slaw
Radishes are routinely part of the salsa and condiment spreads you see at the best taquerias. Here, they’re used as part of a fresh topping for earthy chicken tostadas that are anything but routine.
Chicken Breasts with Lentil-Radish-Mint SaladChicken Breasts with Lentil-Radish-Mint Salad
Peppery radishes and refreshing mint deliver bright spring flavors to healthful chicken breasts. A quick side dish of lentils dressed in the same dressing that sauces the chicken makes this a complete, protein-rich meal.

 

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