Radishes in Union Square

Posted on Jun 14, 2008 in Hiroko's Blog

Crisp, small and colorful radishes are abundant starting the 
beginning of summer at the Union Square Green Market here in New York City.  “What do you do with them?”

I have often been asked when I am  sorting through the bunches for my purchase. After taking them back 
to my kitchen I thoroughly rinse them in a large bowl of cold tap water, changing the water several times.

I keep the greens attached and I remove the soil which is trapped deep inside at the bottom of the stems with a tooth pick. Then, I divide the radishes into two piles – one for eating raw and another for making pickles. For the raw radishes: I soak them in a bowl of ice cold tap water and leave them for half an hour to crisp them up. Later I enjoy eating them as is together with fresh green leaves attached. I sprinkle them with a dash of artisan-made, good quality sea salt or with delicious yuzu citrus juice flavored, sweet white miso sauce (page 81, The Sushi Experience) that I prepare in a large batch and store it in my freezer.

Biting into a crunchy, crisp, slightly spicy radish is a heavenly experience during hot and steamy New York summer days. As many other summer vegetables are said to do, radish cools off my body. The bright red radish color suggests that they are rich in anthocyanins a strong antioxidant chemical. Munching cold nutritious antioxidant- laden radishes while consuming lots of charred barbecued meats seems to be a healthful good idea. And the wonderful tasty green leaves are source of vitamin C, another excellent antioxidant and a rich source of calcium. So enjoy all of the beautiful bountiful summer radishes – bottoms and tops.