Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 1: Raphanus sativus

Radishes are some of the earliest vegetables that we can harvest in our garden. Cool weather plants that require little water, they give us something to fuss over while we wait for the weather to warm enough for beans or tomatoes. Our main challenge has been that no one really likes radishes, and a number of us considered the greens to be unpalatable.

I recently discovered the error in my estimation of radishes after I harvested a crop from my personal garden. Faced with a shopping bag's worth of radish greens, I wondered whether there wasn't something that I could do with them besides relegate them to the compost bin. So I Googled, and found a recipe for a Radish Green Vichyssoise that I tried. After that surprisingly good soup, I was prepared to grow radishes for the greens alone. Then I sauteed a handful of peeled and sliced radishes in olive oil until they were crispy and used them as a garnish on another meal. I am now prepared to be a radish evangelist at the pantry.

We harvested a number of radishes on June 1--both Crimson Giants and daikon. We added herbs, bundles of chives, and flowers to build our second delivery of the year to the pantry.  We finished the day by planting chard, lettuce, beans, and wildflowers.