Ingredient of the Month: The Radish
This month the Cooks & Partners chefs have been working in the kitchen with Radishes. May in their minds is when Radishes are seasonally at their best and easy to come by with the British season running between May and October.
Radishes are root vegetables and are mostly eaten raw. They are great for adding crunchy texture and are a welcome addition to an average salad. The most common variety of Radish is that which has red skin with a white tip and usually cherry-sized. In Eastern Europe, there is a black variety which has a stronger peppery flavour and these can be found in specialist greengrocers usually along with another white carrot sized version called Daikon radishes. These are popular in Asian cooking.
Almost fat free, Radishes can be an easy to reach for snack that won’t ruin your diet. They are a rich source of fibre and Vitamin C with just ½ a cup offering 14% of your RDA Vitamin C intake.
Radishes are also said to help lower blood pressure, cleanse the kidneys and improve hydration levels.
Choosing The Best & Basic Prep
When buying Radishes, look for those that are blemish and crack free and have a firm skin. If they feel soft they will be spongy and not very crunchy inside. As a general rule, the bigger the Radish the less crunchy the Radish tends to be. If any green tips remains intact ensure they are perky and fresh.
Preparing a Radish to maximise crunch, can be aided through placing the Radish in iced water a couple of hours before being eaten. When ready, wash, chop or leave whole before serving. Always prep just before serving as Radishes tend to lose their potency when cut and set aside too long.
Other Ways To Enjoy Radishes
The majority of people consume Radishes in their raw form. However there are some great ways to enjoy them which mellows out their spicy peppery nature. Here are 5 ways to try Radishes at home:
Pickled or fermented – in the exactly same way as you might pickle cucumbers or carrots, try using Radishes instead
Braised – becoming sweet and juicy, Radishes take on the flavour of the liquid they are cooking in. Braising Radishes is very popular in Chinese cuisine. Try using them as an alternative to potatoes in a stew.
Roasted – add them into your normal roast tray bake mix to add bite
Grilled - chargrill your lettuce? Then why not your Radish? You will be surprised with the end result. This is a clever way to work colour into a dish lacking vibrancy.
Blanch – like any other greens. Use the tops of the Radish by wilting them and adding to pasta or risotto dishes.
Our Favourite Dishes - Top 4
Across the Cooks & Partners cafes this month, you will find a selection of dishes that feature Radishes. The team will also be recommending Radish adorned dishes to corporates looking for a catering option for any planned events. If you fancy giving Radishes a try in your next dish, here is some inspiration: