With this season’s radishes I was looking forward to planting new seeds, harvesting and eventually eating the l-inch or bigger bulbs I bought called watermelon radishes. They are round and very unique with red, white and green coloration resembling a watermelon. This is the latest in radishes and I have been saving all kinds of recipes to try this spring.
No, not this kind of watermelon on the left but ones like in the picture on the right. Dean sure picked a bunch! These are old pictures by the way – the kids are all in their 20’s now 🙂
This is an heirloom Chinese daikon radish and contains a pungent chemical compound that when released are a natural repellent to weeds, pests and soil born pathogens. I always planted them not just to eat but repel bugs from my lettuce and other crops and also for all of the kids, who have come and gone, who just loved to pull them out of the soil. So, when they wanted to pick something it was always the root crops; like radishes, carrots, onions and my elephant garlic. Oh that funny looking plant on the right is lettuce that went to seed – I saved those for the kids too. Tommy thought he was a Ninja fighter and the lettuce was a weapon 🙂
To begin with, I consider myself an experienced gardener, not to the extent that I have grown everything or know everything. I have had a lot of success and of course there have been failures over the past 40+ years. Many know that I am an Advanced Organic Master Gardener so for over 25 years I have had lots of additional training and experience.
Radishes are perhaps one of the easiest things to grow, right? Wrong! I recently had my first experience with radishes that did not bulb; why did this happen? I always thin my radishes when the plants are big enough to grab hold of. Too much nitrogen can cause this but I don’t use store-bought fertilizers – I always use compost. They got plenty of light each day so this was not a factor. We had a funny spring with hot and cold weather so that could have been the reason. But then why did my French Breakfast radishes do fine and they were just 6 inches away. Bad seed perhaps? The mystery of nature and gardening 🙂
Lots of green leaves but no bulbs in the pictures below. I also planted French Breakfast radishes (a new favorite from last year) that did beautifully.
So, what am I trying to say? Gardening is fun and can be challenging but never give up. I will try these again in the Fall – I have already ordered new seeds.
My French Breakfast radishes from last year and Buttered Radish Tartines.
This recipe evolved into a special post for me because:
- I decided to use Selma’s recipe https://selmastable.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/crunchy-pickled-radish-slices/ she posted for the 50th Fiesta Friday https://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/fiesta-friday-50/ when she was a co-host (I did make a few changes)
- I kept her recipe in a “veggie file” and it was fun to go back and see our communication with each other
- Selma mentioned my post (calling it a pudding) Pecan-Bacon Squares A’La Mode along with 4 others who were featured the week before
- This was my first failure growing radishes (I mean some times they have been bitter but never have they not formed bulbs)
- Instead of a recipe using watermelon radishes I chose one using regular radishes
Crunchy Pickled Radish Slices, Adapted
- bunch of radishes
- 1 cup white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp. Michigan maple syrup
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili flakes (this can make the radishes hot so be careful)
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. mixture of red, white and black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
Slice off the tops and tails of the radishes, wash and drain. I used my santouku knife to cut very thin slices. Mix all of the seasonings together and put half in the bottom of a nice canning jar. Fill up with radish slices, top with remaining spices.
Bring the white wine, water and maple syrup to boil and pour over the radishes to cover. Cool to room temperature and use right away or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
According to Selma “These crunchy, pickled radish slices will perk up all sorts of things from salads to steamed vegetables, steamed fish to simply cooked meats. And of course they are superb with cheese and crackers, in sandwiches, in burgers; anywhere you need a crunchy, spicy, floral, acidic hit of flavor”.
Lots of choices and they sure are delicious. Extra radishes – give these a try 🙂
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2016/06/04/crunchy-pickled-radish/
I recently tried these tasty radish pickles with a slice of Romano cheese, buttery Ritz crackers and a little drizzle of the brine. Great snack!
The seasonings, the jar choices and the finished radish pickles.