Crisp, small and colorful radishes are abundant starting theÂ
beginning of summer at the Union Square Green Market here in New YorkÂ City. Â â€œWhat do you do with them?â€
I have often been asked when I amÂ sorting through the bunches for my purchase. After taking them backÂ
to my kitchen I thoroughly rinse them in a large bowl of cold tapÂ water, changing the water several times.
I keep the greens attachedÂ and I remove the soil which is trapped deep inside at the bottom ofÂ the stems with a tooth pick. Then, I divide the radishes into twoÂ piles â€“ one for eating raw and another for making pickles. For theÂ raw radishes: I soak them in a bowl of ice cold tap water and leaveÂ them for half an hour to crisp them up. Later I enjoy eating them asÂ is together with fresh green leaves attached. I sprinkle them with aÂ dash of artisan-made, good quality sea salt or with delicious yuzuÂ citrus juice flavored, sweet white miso sauce (page 81, The SushiÂ Experience) that I prepare in a large batch and store it in my freezer.
Biting into a crunchy, crisp, slightly spicy radish is a heavenlyÂ experience during hot and steamy New York summer days. As many otherÂ summer vegetables are said to do, radish cools off my body. TheÂ bright red radish color suggests that they are rich in anthocyanins aÂ strong antioxidant chemical. Munching cold nutritious antioxidant-Â laden radishes while consuming lots of charred barbecued meats seemsÂ to be a healthful good idea. And the wonderful tasty green leaves areÂ source of vitamin C, another excellent antioxidant and a rich sourceÂ of calcium. So enjoy all of the beautiful bountiful summer radishes â€“Â bottoms and tops.