We love radishes so we grow them a lot and we grow 3 to 4 different varieties.
The tiniest radish we grow is French Breakfast aka D'avignon. It's a super fast growing crop, ready 20 days after the seeds are planted! Yeah, fast. They are elongated, half white half pink and their flavor is very mild with a sharp bite. In France they are eaten traditionally for breakfast (hence the name) on buttered toast; cut in half lengthwise either raw or slightly seared in a hot pan, the cooking really takes away the sharp bite so it's a matter of preference. Don't forget a pinch of salt. As with most radishes we love to eat them seared in butter or olive oil, with tops and stems all mixed in. The whole plant makes a quick and nutritious side dish.
Shunkyo radishes are also elongated, but thicker and entirely fuchsia on the outside and crisp white on the inside. Their tops are larger than French Breakfast and have a beautiful pink stem. They are pretty sliced very thin for salads or an appetizer like crostini with cream cheese, radish slices, herbs and a drizzle of good olive oil. Shunkyo radishes are quite a bit spicier than the smaller varieties so if you find they have too much bite your best bet is cooking them, it brings the spice down. Throughout the season we farmers eat radishes with almost every meal, since they are always there for us to grab and bring home and Tiffany, who isn't a fan of spicy, cuts the radishes up and roasts them in olive oil and salt, like you would any other root like a carrot or potato. In the oven they get tender quickly and they have a mild buttery earthy flavor.
The tops of Shunkyo radishes (and Hakurei turnips too!) are the perfect braising or sauteeing green, so when we give you radishes with the tops don't just compost them try to eat them too! Radishes will store forever in your fridge so when you get them home cut the tops off, eat them! and then store the radishes in a plastic bag so that they done dry out.
Watermelon radishes aka Red Meat radish are super popular these days and we can understand why. Their name refers to the intense red interior of this perfectly round radish, which looks just watermelon when cut into wedges. They are a much larger and slower growing root which gives them a more dense texture (think less watery and more crunchy like a carrot) and a much more complex flavor and even stronger spicy bite. This guy has very large tops and they are more prickly than other varieties so handle with care. Slightly sauteed on a dry hot skillet just until they wilt and serve with a fresh drizzle of good olive oil and a pinch of salt. There's nothing more simple and farm fresh delicious. Our chef clients love to use a mandolin to slice these beauties super thin for topping salads and adding a great splash of color and spice!