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You can do a lot with a radish

Radishes come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Think “radish” in the UK and you think “small, round, red and white”. On the continent radishes are often long and pointed, like parsnips, and usually white. They’re crisp, peppery and refreshing and usually eaten raw. Thin slices of radish, sprinkled lightly with salt, are tasty and refreshing on bread. The salt takes some of the peppery taste away. Radishes also feature in salads – grated and mixed with cucumber, cress and an oil and vinegar marinade. Radish juice can be flavoured with honey and apple juice, or other vegetable juices and spices. 500 g radish will provide 400 ml juice. In Asian cookery, radishes are served either lactofermented or cooked. Lightly steamed radish is a delicious side dish for fried fish, meat, prawns and boiled potatoes. A cold, finely pureed radish soup with a dash of cream makes a summery starter.

Health benefits

Radishes contain virtually no fat and only 14 calories per 100 g, but they’re a good source of potassium, folic acid and vitamin C. It’s the volatile mustard oils that give radishes their peppery taste and which also serve to stimulate the gall bladder and kidneys and to soothe cramps and to clear mucous from the breathing system.

Origin, buying and storage

Radishes, are thought to come from the eastern Mediterranean. The long pointed summer radishes are white or pink, while winter radishes are violet to almost black. Whatever the skin colour, inside they’re all white. To serve them, remove the leaves and the root hairs, wash the radish and brush with a vegetable brush, then the radish is ready to eat in slices or to cook. Summer radishes don’t need peeling. When you’re shopping for radishes, look for ones that look fresh and have fresh green leaves; avoid radishes that look limp. Store radishes wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge; they’ll keep for several days.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de