Getting More Out of Your Radishes

Posted By on June 29, 2014

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Spring is officially over and summer is just starting to come into its own. That means a whole new season of foods are starting to ripen and our lovely spring crops are setting to seed fast. Summer’s hotter and longer days are causing our lettuce, spinach, arugula, and radishes to bolt here at Sheltering Woods. While this may be a melancholy event for some of you, it opens up the opportunity for new life and new food!

One food in particular that we would normally chuck in the compost bin or save a few for seed is the earthy radish. By now the roots are too woody for any delightful eating, but there is something else we enjoy!

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As you can see in the photo above, our Purple Plum Radish are going to seed. The sight starts as long, spindly spires that open up to beautiful purple flowers and then into seed pods.

Radish Flowers

Radish Flowers

Radish Seed Pods -- Rat tails

Radish Seed Pods — Rat tails

Both the flowers and young seed pods are additional edible parts of the radish plant. The pods in particular are quite wonderful! In the culinary world they’re referred to as ‘Rat Tails.’ Sounds appetizing? Haha, not so much. Don’t let the common name for these delectable little treasures lead you astray, though. The taste is quite delightful. We consider the taste as a cross between an edible pod pea and radish. There’s a nice crunchy sweetness followed by a zing of spice that you usually get from the radish root.

So, next time you see your radishes go to bolt, don’t pull them up quite yet. Let them fruit and harvest the young seed pods for salad, snacking, or cooking in stir fry.

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