Valley Bounty: Radishes

Spring radishes, with varietal names like “Bunny Tail”, “French Breakfast”, and “Easter Egg”, owe their early availability to a short cultivation time — often as short as a few weeks to a month from seed to harvest. Radishes’ characteristic bite is the result of the same chemical compounds that lend similar pungency to horseradish, wasabi, and mustard. Their bright colors and strong flavor are a sure sign that spring has sprung at local farmers’ markets and farm stands.

In the last year or two I’ve mostly enjoyed radishes sliced raw with some grass-fed butter and a pinch of salt — a snack I initially thought was just the result of my friends’ odd eating habits, but eventually learned was a traditional French serving (who knew my friends were so classy?). In fact, radishes’ pepperiness make them a nice compliment to lots of fatty foods — try serving thin slices of radish with deviled eggs, pork tacos, or on a bagel with lox and cream cheese. They’re also a quick and easy way to add some depth to salads — radishes, walnuts, arugula, and goat cheese is a winning combination that’s a no-brainer to throw together.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)