Radish

Radish

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Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

One of the delights of spring is a bowl of rosy-pink radishes, fresh and crisp, to be eaten simply with butter, salt and crusty bread, in the French manner. Offer them at the start of a meal, since they are said to stimulate the appetite. Sliced radishes are often added to mixed salads, and small whole radishes make an attractive garnish, cut decoratively or simply trimmed.

Radishes are best eaten when very young; older ones and those which have grown too slowly are sometimes too hot-tasting to enjoy. Growing your own is the best way to ensure your radishes are fresh, and they are, perhaps, the easiest of all vegetables to grow. Although the small red radish, long or round, is the most common variety, there are many others, including the long white radish (mooli) often used in Asian cookery.

To make radish roses: Wash small round radishes, remove all but the smallest leaf and trim off the roots. Using a sharp, thin-bladed vegetable knife, cut a small slice from root and then cut 4 slices around radish from root and almost to stem. Chill in iced water until ‘petals’ open.

To make radish fans: Wash radishes and trim off leaves and root. Put each radish into a wooden spoon and, holding it firmly on the work surface, cut across into thin slices – the sides of the spoon will stop the knife from going all the way through. Chill in iced water until slices open into a fan.

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