Aren’t these just the prettiest radishes you ever did see?
Watermelon radishes are pretty plain on the outside (they range in color from white through dark green) and bigger than those red-and-white-salad-bar-radishes I grew up on. Most of them are 2-3 inches in diameter. Because they winter well in cold storage they are a common local ingredient available through the winter in these parts.
The taste is milder than many other radishes. The vegetable is spiciest near its outer extremities and becomes mildest towards its core.
There are all sorts of ways to eat them, including:
- Raw. Slice them thin (or chop into match sticks) and serve with (or as) a salad. They pair well with salty cheese, other root vegetables, strong greens (such as arugula), olive oil, lemon and nuts.
- Blanched. Cut them into cubes and toss in boiling salt water for a few minutes before transferring to an ice bath (or very cool water) to cool. This will intensify their color and can make the flavor sightly less intense (which is a good thing if you’re adding these to a salad with a lot of other ingredients).
- Pan-fried. Blanch and cool per above then toss in melted butter or olive oil that has been heated at medium-high heat. Finish with freshly chopped Italian parsley.
- Roasted. Cut into cubes or chunks, toss in oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 325-375 until softened (they should still have some texture). You can blanch and cool first to speed this process.
- Dehydrate. They make pretty chips or can be converted into powder (use this for salad dressings).
- Pickled. They can be cubed and pickled (the color will transform the brine into a magical shade of fuschia).
What do (or would) you do with this tie-dyed vegetable?