Radishes are one of my favorite veggies! They're so underrated but these spicy nuggets are delicious in all kinds of ways. Today I rounded up my best tips for buying and storing radishes, plus a recipe for French Butter Radishes! You've got to try these!
Firm bulbs. Radishes should be crisp and firm. A soft radish will taste off and have an unpleasant texture. This can be an indicator that it was stored improperly.
Crisp greens. Unless you’re buying your radishes at an outdoor market on a hot day, they should have crisp fresh greens. Greens that are wilted or yellowed at the grocery store indicate some very old radishes.
Fresh scent. Yes! Your radishes should have a fresh, spicy scent. You’ll be able to smell it in the greenery and when you cut one open.
Don’t worry about:
Color. Radishes come in all kinds of different colors including black, purple, white, pink, red, yellow, and almost everything in between. Some radishes even have a mottled coloring. A radishes coloring won’t tell you anything about it’s freshness or flavor.
Size. Radishes should be crisp and spicy no matter what size they are. The flavor is affected by growing conditions and variety more than anything else.
Cracks. Use your best judgement on this one. Many veggies will develop a crack when they’re over watered. Sometimes a heavy rain will be enough to cause radishes and carrots to crack open. It doesn’t always mean the radish is unsafe to eat, but if it looks discolored or has become soft, don’t eat it.
Soft spots. A good radish should always be crisp. Soft spots indicate old or poorly grown bulbs.
Store the tops separately. Radish greens are definitely edible and are delicious in salads. If the greens are at all damp they’ll rot very quickly. Cut them off the radish and wash two or three times to get any dirt off. Dry the greens thoroughly and store in a container lined with pare towels to avoid moisture build up, or lay them out on a line of paper towels and roll them up in a lettuce log.
Radish bulbs store very well. I like to keep them in a container lined with paper towels so that any moisture is absorbed. Use a lidded container. Radishes left in an open container will dry out quickly.
If you store your radishes for more than a couple weeks before using them, you may see little fuzzy hairs start growing near the root tail. This is a sign that the radish has used up most of it’s sugar stores and it’s trying to put out new roots to find nutrients. Use those babies up asap! Radishes become sweeter when cooked, so try roasting them if you find that older radishes are too spicy.
My abso-lute favorite way to eat radishes is a classic french preparation: with butter and sea salt.
Truly! You might guffaw at the idea because, well, everything tastes better with butter and salt, but the creamy butter actually does a lot to balance the spiciness of the radishes.
Plus, if you use real butter from grass fed cows, this can be a great high fat snack that will give you energy for hours to come.
I like to make butter radishes on days when Jake and I go play tennis after work. It’s been long enough since lunch that I’m hungry, but I don’t want to eat dinner before exercising so much. The butter radish is the perfect option. I can almost feel my body turn that butter into energy while I’m playing and it never weighs me down like a heavy grain and nut energy bar.
Give them a try! I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious these spicy little nuggets can be!
French Butter Radishes
- 1 bunch radishes
- ¼ cup real butter (I use a grass fed butter called Kerrygold)
- pinch of sea salt
1. If you want to leave the tops on the radishes for a fancy presentation, gently rinse them and wipe dry with a dish towel. Take care to pull off any weird leaves and shorten the roots. Otherwise, wash your radish bulbs as usual.
2. Place the butter in a room temperature sauce pan. Holding the pan handle in your non-dominant hand, place the pan on a surface and tilt it so that the butter pools to one side. Use a fork to quickly swish the butter back and forth. You’ll basically melt the butter with the small amount of heat released from the kinetic energy caused by this movement.
3. Once the butter has softened up a bit, turn your stove to medium heat and hold the pan a couple inches above the burner for THREE SECONDS. Seriously. Three. Seconds. The goal is to liquify the butter without melting it. If the butter get too hot, which happens very quickly, the water and butter fat will separate and it will never coat the radishes well or taste nearly as good.
4. Remove from heat and continue swishing the butter with a fork until it liquifies. You’ll know it when it happens. It can take a few minutes.
5. Once the butter has liquified, you can spoon it over halved radishes, or dip whole radishes directly into the butter. Sprinkle the radishes with sea salt and enjoy!
I teach people how to cook and eat real food with confidence so that you can have less stress, better health, and WAY more fun in the kitchen and in life.
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