The humble radish

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More! We were not going to let the Green Goddess go to waste.

March 21: Green Goddess Dressing on Romaine with Celery, Radishes and Croutons

I liked this salad even better with the sweet crunch of celery and the peppery crunch of radishes than with slices of red onion like the day before.

Croutons made this a more filling salad and, other than some leftover potatoes, it was all we had for dinner. (I learned how to make my own croutons on Mar. 10.)

Last time I bought radishes, they were a bit old and tired and woody. But these were fresh and crisp and reminded me what’s nice about radishes. You taste a peppery “bite” but it’s different than a hot pepper in that you feel the refreshing spicy tingle on the sides of your tongue in back. (Makes you want a sip of lager beer.) Weird, right? But eat a fresh radish and notice that it’s true.

The raw flesh has a crisp texture and a pungent, peppery flavor, caused by glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase which combine when chewed to form allyl isothiocyanates, also present in mustard, horseradish, and wasabi.

But the peppery flavor is less up your nose and more on your tongue than wasabi or horseradish.

Radishes are root vegetables in the Brassicacaea family, along with mustards and cabbages. They are easy to grow.

Radish can sprout from seed to small plant in as little as 3 days. The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means “quickly appearing” and refers to the rapid germination of these plants.

And…

 Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source ofvitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.

Last year we planted Cincinnati Market and Early Scarlet Globe from Seeds Savers. It’s hard to think about planting now when the good earth is buried under 8 inches of white.

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I didn’t make a snowman, I made a radishman. It’s like a spring version of a jack-o-lantern.

I got the idea from Oaxaca, Mexico where, at Christmastime, they have a festival called the Night of the Radishes. Click for crazy-cool PHOTOS. More!.. Noche de Rábanos.

John is back to flying after being home sick with a rotten cold and cough through the middle of March. He had a layover in (stressful, dangerous) Caracas, Venezuela last night. I must increase our daily dose of antioxidants and other good vegetable things to ward off future illness.

“I am definitely getting my greens here at home,” said Laura, last night.

What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes. – Samuel Beckett