Radishes were named by the ancient Greeks for the speed with which they grow; they sprout in as little as 21 days and are some of the first vegetables to appear in the fields. They can be found in a rainbow of colors and a variety of sizes, with a flavor that ranges from mild and sweet to intensely peppery—in drier, warmer months the taste will be more intense, while in cooler months a higher water content gives them a milder flavor.
Wash well under cold water and trim the roots to prepare. Though usually eaten raw or pickled, they're also wonderful roasted—especially large, earthy daikon radishes—or sliced and sautéed in a little butter.
Remove the tops and store radishes in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer. If you wish to keep the leaves, remove any wilted ones. Store the rest in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound skirt or flank steak (or any taco filling alternative)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
- 4 radishes, trimmed, chopped
- 2 spring onions or 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- ½ serrano chile or jalapeño, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- 2 oz. queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let steak rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop half of cilantro and toss with radishes, onions, chile, lime juice, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Season radish salsa with salt and pepper.
Slice steak and serve on tortillas topped with radish salsa, queso fresco, and remaining cilantro.
Spring Radish Salad
1 bunch fresh radishes
2-3 very sweet carrots
2 bunches arugula
salt and pepper to taste
E.V. olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Trim the radishes and slice them thinly. Peel the carrots and cut them on the diagonal into very thin slices. Snap off the tough stems from the arugula. Gather the arugula into a bunch and cut it crosswise into strips.
Arrange the arugula on a platter. Scatter the sliced radishes and carrots over the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly moisten the vegetables. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the salad.