Craving: Radishes; Some of Yours, Some of Ours

By: Michelle Buffardi
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Welcome late-spring, a time when you can rip your dinner out of the ground, rinse it, and eat it raw. Or you can roast it, dress it with olive oil and mint, bake it in a gratin, or pile it on a sandwich.

Radishes are one of the rare vegetables whose versatility is underrated. They're too often sliced and thrown into a salad, lost among ubiquitous leaves of lettuce, cucumbers and red onions. If they're lucky, they're used to garnish a homemade taco, and if they're not, they get carved into a mouse and left for dead on a cold cut tray. In my house, they rarely make it out of the sink -- I just wash, trim and eat.

But radishes deserve better. While they're excellent raw and lend a sharp crunch to salads and slaws, they're (equally? more?) delicious cooked. Have you tried roasting radishes? You should.  Don't be afraid.

Our friends Todd and Diane were not afraid. They agree that roasting sacrifices the radishes' beloved crunch, but compare the mellow flavor of the cooked product to roasted turnips.

A gratin of just potatoes is boring, give the other roots a chance, like beauty everyday did with this Spring Root Gratin (a great way to use up the mystery root vegetables in your CSA box!).

Diana's Roasted Radish transformation should be all the argument you need to abandon your raw radish comfort zone.

But we do still like them raw. If you can resist popping them right into your mouth, do as The Sophisticated Gourmet does and make some little tea sandwiches. And maybe some tea, too, because it's, well, sophisticated.

Our own Ellie Krieger 's refreshing, simple Orange, Radish and Mint Salad is on your table in minutes, and uses just a handful of fresh ingredients.

Get all fancy and exotic like Ingrid Hoffman; radishes + mango + jicama = a feisty, Latin-inspired summer salad.

How are you eating your radishes this spring? Raw, cooked or a little of both?

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