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Seasonal Produce: Radishes

One of the first vegetables to be cultivated, the radish is a root in the mustard family. While the bright red skin and snowy white flesh of the round Red Globe is the common type most of us know, radishes are grown in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors: elongated white icicle; carrotlike Japanese daikon; purple, pink and lavender Easter egg; and black from eastern Europe to name just a few. All radishes have a distinct flavor that ranges from peppery to pungent. Most of that flavor lies in the skin, so peeling very spicy radishes reduces their intensity. With their crisp texture, radishes are usually enjoyed raw. They add color, crunch and flavor to salads and sandwiches, and are a popular addition to relish or crudité trays. Radishes may also be steamed, sautéed or stir-fried and added to omelets and soups. Available year-round, radishes are at their peak March through May and are easily grown from seed in spring gardens.


Purchasing

  • Red globe radishes are sold two ways: in plastic bags with the tops removed and in bunches with their greens attached. Bunch radishes will likely be fresher and have better flavor and texture.
  • Select firm, smooth-skinned radishes with no surface cracks or blemishes. The greens should be crisp and brightly colored.
  • Avoid larger sized round radishes as they may be more fibrous and have a sharper flavor.
  • Remove the attached greens before storing. Refrigerate unwashed radishes in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.

Preparing

  • Wash radishes and trim off roots and stem ends just before using.
  • Raw radishes may be served whole, sliced or diced. Daikon radishes may also be shredded.
  • Cooking reduces some of the peppery flavor and may turn the flesh of red radishes pink. To enhance their color during cooking, add an acidic ingredient—such as lemon juice—to the cooking liquid.

Nutrition

  • Low in calories.
  • Good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Serving

  • Add radish slices to sandwiches and tossed green salads for great color, crunch and zesty flavor.
  • Stir chopped radishes into freshly made fruit or vegetable salsas.
  • Substitute radishes for celery in creamy tuna, chicken and egg salads.
  • Serve small whole radishes as an appetizer or snack with your favorite dip or KRAFT Dressing.
  • Toss sliced or diced radishes into stir-fries or sauté with some fresh sugar snap or snow peas.
  • Cut radishes into thin strips and add to your favorite coleslaw recipe.
  • Stir chopped radishes into BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Cottage Cheese.
Radishes
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