The Humble Radish for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Radishes freshly pulled from the earth at the Hawkin's Farm CSA.  
Radishes grow so quickly and easily they are often taken for granted by the gardener.  For the cook, they are often dismissed because they become over grown and are too peppery and woody to enjoy.  However, get them when they are picked young and crunchy and the hint of spice comes just at the end of each bite and you too will be a radish convert. 

A tip for the gardeners out there: stagger your planting of radishes. Plant a couple feet every week or two.  That way you have a staggered harvest as well.  You won't feel overwhelmed with more radishes than you can use.  If you do have a more than you can use harvest them before they get too big and hold them in the refrigerator.

Perhaps your radish aversion runs deep and you need a little more convincing?  Keep reading to learn how radishes are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner all over the world.  

Radishes are for more than just salads. What pairs well with radishes?
  • Creamy dairy like goat cheese, brie, cream cheese, mayo or butter
  • Citrus in salads or with the citrus juice squeezed over to brighten a dish
  • Cucumber and radish sliced thin as a salad
  •  Fava beans, peas or pea shoots
  •  Salt
  •  Smoked or salted fish like smoked salmon, pickled herring or sardines

Ways to Prepare Radish:
  •  Roasted with other veggies or thrown into chilies or stews
  •  Pickled and used as a condiment for sliders, tacos, and salads
  •  Diced fresh into dips or spreads
  •  Julienned into coleslaws
  •  Sliced thin on Tartines (French open faced sandwiches)

Now here are some recipes to get your radish juices flowing: 

Polenta with Roasted Veggies including Radishes from my very own blog.  Click here for a link to the recipe.
Last fall with the second round of radishes coming in, I decided to try roasting them with other veggies to go with Italian polenta.  I was not disappointed.  They become sweeter and softer when given a little time under the broiler.  This recipe is easily tweaked for spring vegetables.  Try leeks, new potatoes, young carrots and asparagus with the radishes.

The American tendency is to add radishes to mayonnaise.  This delicious dip uses the radish for crunch and tempers its pepperiness with mayo and cream cheese plus dill and garlic.  This would make an excellent dip for corn chips or as a sandwich spread; think with roast beef or pork.  

Hoisin Steak Sliders with Marinated Radish from The Cozy Apron.  Click here for a link to the recipe.
BBQ is an other great place to use the radish.  Its crunch will benefit a coleslaw or in this case they are marinated and used as a condiment for Hoisin Steak Sliders.

Pickled Radishes from The Healthy Green Kitchen. Click here for a link to the recipe.
If you like the idea of marinated radishes, you'll probably be interested in the pickled form.  This quick recipe will yield one cup of carrot radish sweet refrigerator pickles.  She recommends putting them on sandwiches or eating them straight out of the jar.  

Miso soup with radishes from Shizuoka Gourmet.  Click here for a link to the recipe.
Japanese miso (fermented soybean paste) soup commonly features dicon radishes, but there is no reason simple red radishes won't also make a great addition.  

French tartines with radish, sunflower sprouts and goat cheese spread from Gourmande in the Kitchen.  Click here for a link to the recipe.
The French are known for their love of thinly sliced radish for breakfast on a hearty bread spread with a herbed butter or soft cheese, sprinkled with fleur de sal.  These open-faced sandwiches are known as tartines.  

Sauteed Radishes with Fava Beans from Gourmande in the Kitchen. Click here for a link to the recipe. 
Europeans are more likely to sautee their radishes with fava beans or spring peas.  

Radish Chips from Simple Comfort Foods.  Click here for a link to the recipe.
I'm not sure who to give this one credit to; probably Americans as we love to fry things.  These are spiced radish chips.  

How do you enjoy your radishes?

This post was part of the Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop.  Check it out for more information on consuming less and producing more. As well as Scratch Cookin' Tuesdays and Farm Girl Fridays.


  1. Excellent collection of recipes.

    I've only recently started to appreciate radishes; they were too spicy for my young palate and I've held on to the belief for years that I didn't like them. Fortunately I have a strong opinion that you should re-try things you think you don't like from time to time.

    I will have to try some of these!

  2. Hey Foy -- all the links in this post don't work for me. They all point to http://www.blogger.com/goog_608900841, which returns an error.

    1. I'm still getting used to the blogger updates. While I can't get the pictures to work as a link to the recipes, the captions do. I update the text to help make that clearer. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. I did not know it is better to pick radishes when they are young. I alway get too peppery of radishes. Thank you for sharing! These recipes are unique, and sound delicious! Take care, Terra

    1. The variety of the radish does make some difference so choose ones with names that promise more mild flavors. Here's an online discussion of varieties: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cornucop/msg1118433716606.html

      Another big factor is temperature and weather. If radishes go through a dry spell they will often intensify their flavor. They will be sweetest if their soil is evenly moist. Also the hotter the temperatures the hotter the radish. That's one of the main reasons radishes are an early spring or late fall crop in the Midwest. Yes we could grow them, but we wouldn't want to eat them.

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  5. Saw your radish tartines and linked to this nice collection of ideas. Thanks for this! I wasn't sure I would plant radishes again because I never knew what to do with them all.