A root vegetable with a bit of a kick
By Maddie Bane
Whether you prefer them long and narrow or short and round, radishes are the perfect vegetable to kick off the spring season. They’re easy to grow (or buy), great to snack on, and although they look particularly similar to beets, their crispy texture and spicy taste are what set them apart from their root vegetable cousin. Springtime in the Lowcountry is prime time for planting and harvesting this vegetable, as too hot weather can lead to “bolting,” which causes the plant to turn bitter. The list of nutrients and benefits goes on and on, and with nearly 20 varieties of this produce, there’s no reason not to enjoy radishes this season.
Totally rad benefits
Radishes contain small amounts of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and they are a great source of vitamin C. One half-cup serving contains 14 percent of daily recommended vitamin C consumption. This vitamin is a great source of antioxidants, and it also plays a huge role in collagen production.
You’ll never be-leaf this
You’ll most likely see or use radishes sliced on fresh salads or a vegetable tray, but don’t neglect the leaves — they’re used just as often. In fact, there are more nutrients in the radish leaves than the radish itself. They contain high amounts of vitamin C and fiber. Radish leaves are commonly found in potato soup, sauteed as a side dish, and blended into various fruit juices.
How to grow them
Radishes grow best in the spring in order to produce the best flavor and texture. Seeds should be planted two to three weeks before the last frost in loose, well-drained soil. After 20 to 30 days when the roots are an inch across, they are ready for harvesting.
Where to buy them
Your favorite grocery store will certainly have this root veggie. You also can keep an eye on the social media pages of local markets.
Monday, Wednesday, Sunday: Whippoorwill Farms SC, Ridgeland, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday: Hilton Head Island Farmer’s Market, Coastal Discovery Museum, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday: Farmers Market of Bluffton, Green Street, noon-5 p.m.
Saturday: Port Royal Farmers Market, Naval Heritage Park, 9 a.m.-noon
Where to order them
Blackened farm-raised Texas redfish: Smoked Gouda grits, fresh baby arugula, radish, tomato salad, light citrus dressing and extra virgin olive oil.
All bowls (salmon poke, shrimp tempura, sesame crusted or big eye tuna poke, and upside down tuna nigiri): are served with cabbage slaw, watermelon radish and scallions.
Skull Creek Dockside
Taco salad: Mixed greens, seasoned ground beef, Colby jack cheese, avocado, carrot, radish, cucumber, pico de gallo, red onion, crispy tortillas and ranch.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Herb cream cheese and radish toast
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
4 radishes, thinly sliced
8 slices bread, lightly toasted
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Pepper, to taste
Directions  In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, chives, lemon zest, and pepper. Thinly slice the radishes with a mandoline. Spread cream cheese mix on toast, and top with radishes. Sprinkle with sea salt.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Deviled eggs with radishes
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 radishes, thinly sliced
Directions  Slice eggs lengthwise and place yolks into a bowl. Add in mayo, mustard, fresh dill, vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery and stir until creamy.  Spoon about a teaspoon of mixture into each egg half.  Top each with a couple slices of radishes, some fresh dill, and a sprinkle of paprika.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Radish yogurt dip
1 bunch radishes
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Directions  Grate cucumber with coarse side of a box grater. Place in between paper towels to soak up as much liquid as possible.  Transfer cucumber to a bowl, and grate radishes into the same bowl.  Add yogurt, green onions, garlic, lemon zest, mint, dill, coriander, salt, and pepper. Stir gently.  Garnish with a few radish slices and fresh herbs. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving.