Cultivation: Raphanus sativus – the radish – is very easy to grow and is a staple constituent of early summer salads.
They grow quickly, can be ready four weeks after sowing, and therefore are useful as a “catch crop” or as row markers for slow-to-germinate crops such as parsnips.
They like being planted in the sun but should be kept well watered in dry periods which can prevent splitting.
‘Red Globe’ is the most common, but they can be pink, white, purple or yellow.
Nutrition : Radishes are a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, calcium, manganese and potassium. They are a good source of dietary fibre and have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. They are very low in calories.
Eating : Some years ago in Paris, our French friends served up radishes, simply served with salt to dip them in, with an aperitif.
I still think this is the best way to eat them – crunchy, crisp, peppery and fresh.
They are usually added, thinly sliced, to salads, but also delicious sliced on brown bread and butter.
For those who find the taste of raw radishes too strong but have a glut of radishes to eat, they lose their intensity of flavour when cooked – roasted in the oven or simply sautéed, a low calorie alternative to potatoes.
Radishes, topped, tailed and halved
A little oil and butter for frying
Sprigs of thyme
S & lots of Pepper
Method : Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan on a low heat. Then place the radishes, cut side down, in the oil along with the thyme or herb of your choice and S & P to taste. Sauté for 7 or 8 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.