Radishes are an edible root plant that’s commonly used in cooking in a variety of different cultures and for countless dishes. The plant has a long history and it was used before Roman times. They are mostly eaten raw or as a part of a salad.
There are also numerous varieties of radish that vary in shape, size, color, and usage. Radishes are also commonly grown as cover crops to prepare the soil for the main one and used as extra source of income.
- They made it to England in 1548.
- They were first cultivated in what’s todays US in 1629
- It was used as a source of oil in ancient Egypt.
The first thing to check is the green part of the plant. It should be fresh and it should be green and without blemishes and yellow parts. If these seem to be withered, you should avoid the plant altogether.
The radishes should be hard as rock when you pick them at a store. You should also make sure that there’s not too much insect damage. If there’s some of it, it’s a sign that not too many pesticides have been used and if there’s too much of it you should avoid it.
Production & Farming in Texas
Radishes are produced in Texas pretty much everywhere in Texas since there’s no problems related to growing it that come from the climate. The main thing to look for when growing them is the quality of the soil since root plants can’t grow in the wrong soil.
The soil needs to be lose and well drained in order for the radishes to grow. Otherwise the plant will be misshapen as it starts to grow below ground. This is true for all root plants. Spade the soil to the depth of about 8 to 12 inches.
The planting should be done as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart in the row. The seeds should then be covered in loose soil and sprinkled with some water. Do this several times 8 to ten days apart to have a constant influx of radishes growing to maturity.
The radishes should be harvested while they are young and tender. If they are left in the ground for too long they will become too firm to use. The tops and the small roots of the plant are destroyed during the harvest process and used for composting.
Due to their spicy flavor radishes need little pesticide since they protect themselves. However, some pesticides such as isothiocyanates are still used.
Radishes were domesticated somewhere in Asia in the time before Roman antiquity. From there they came to Rome and then around Europe. They were brought to America in the 17th century. They were rather prominent as a cover crop since they make the soil better for other plants, and they were mostly and after thought for most farmers.
Now they are used and grown for their health benefits and they are mostly sold in bulk to farmer’s market and to some restaurants. This is done across the US since they can grow in most US climates.
Radishes are sometimes sold with leafs and sometimes the leafs are picked of before sending them to a store. If you can look for those with the leafs since it’s a way to see if they are fresh. They are mostly sold in bunches and ties together with a string.
They are often packed in plastic bags and sold in such bags as well. Sometimes stretchable plastic coverings are used but this is done less recently due to the attempts to use less plastic.
There are many ways to eat radishes and you can explore and experiment with them quite a lot even though they may seem like a boring vegetable. They are mostly used in salads and eaten raw and both of these are fine and healthy but they can get mundane pretty quick.
Radishes are also a great addition to tacos and the pasta. They can also be roasted and used to add flavor and dynamism to the rest of the meal that you’re roasting. Radishes should also be added to a soup and there they achieve the same effect.
To store radishes, start by cutting of their leafs and roots. Put a damp paper towel in an ordinary plastic bag and place the radishes in a bag. That will keep the plant from rotting while it’s stored in the cold part of the fridge.
It can survive in the fridge for about a week or more if you change the towel once in a while.
Radishes can be cooked in a variety of ways and this is one simple recipe for roasting them. Roasting radishes will make the whole dish spicier and to make it more fresh and juicy.
-Preheat oven to 425℉.
-In a bowl, combine the radishes, melted ghee or butter, salt and pepper and toss until radishes are evenly coated. Save adding the minced garlic until just before the radishes are done roasting.
-Spread radishes out in a large 9×13 inch baking dish. Don’t over crowd.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 10 or so minutes. Add the minced garlic and dried parsley and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until radishes are golden brown and cooked through.
Optional: Serve with a side of ranch for dipping or drizzling on top and garnish with parsley, dill or chives.
Saves those RBCs: Radish is known to control damage to our red blood cells, and in the process also increases oxygen supply to the blood.
High on Fiber: If you eat it as part of your daily salad intake, without going overboard of course, radish also provides your system with ample roughage and fibers, therefore improving your digestion. It also regulates bile production, safeguards your liver and the gall bladder, and is great for taking care of water retention.
Guards the Heart: Radishes are a good source for anthocyanins that keep our hearts functioning properly, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Plus they are high on vitamin C, folic acid, and flavonoids too.
Controls Blood Pressure: Radish also provides your body with potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure, and keep your blood flow in control, especially if you are known to suffer from hypertension. According to Ayurveda, radish is believed to have a cooling effect on the blood.
When Are Radishes in Season in Texas?
To find out when Radishes are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.