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Sunday, May 30, 2010


Spring vegetable gardens are a lot of work, with just the promise of reward. Dig, dig, dig. Plant, plant, plant. Add all the perennial borders: trim, trim, trim, weed, weed, weed, mulch, mulch, mulch.

One of the first rewards is pulling up perfect round radish orbs. I have planted just about every type of radish, but the little Cherry Belle types are still my favorite. Plant some seeds earlyish, and before you know it, you have peppery little sweeties for your salads.  I am on my third planting before Memorial Day.

Of course, they are so darn quick and easy that their virtue can be your vice. I always forget them a little too long and end up wasting some, letting them get woody or cracked. Today, however, I pulled up a bunch of them because they were perfect, and I didn't want any to be wasted!  Plus, they have so few calories I can eat them with abandon. Not they way the French do - with fresh butter - although I'd love to. Woodbury Kitchen serves them with tarragon butter that is my idea of heaven. One of the best things I ever did with a radish was to mince them up, and to butter, and spread thickly on pumpernickel bread for an appetizer. But I need to stick to the less buttery, and caloric, choices. I have too many for just adding to green salads (though I have so much lettuce every friend may be eating such salads this week, too). The Produce Bible has a recipe for a salad with cucumber, celery, shallot, avocado, radishes, and cilantro - with a vinaigrette. I think I will be substituting garlic scrapes from the Farmer's Market yesterday, and perhaps Italian parsley since I have a lot in the garden. But I am keeping the avocado, cucumber, and radish combination.

If any readers have radish recipes to share, please do!

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