Chinese Sweet and Sour Radishes

Radishes are a great crop. They're relatively easy, they're one of the fastest growing things on the farm, they look great at the stand, and they elicit a delightful enthusiasm from some of our customers. Until I found this recipe, however, I was always a little lukewarm on eating them. No longer. I could eat these all day. They take a little planning, with the two hour salting period, but it's totally worth it.

Sweet and Sour Radishes
From the wonderful Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

2 bunches radishes
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp superfine sugar (or regular is fine)
1.5 tbsp Chinese brown rice vinegar
3/4 tsp sesame oil

Top and tail the radishes. Fold them up in a clean tea towel and pat them into a single layer underneath the cloth. Smack them with the flat side of a cleaver or rolling pin to crack them all open, without smashing them to smithereens. Put the radishes in a bowl, add the salt, and mix well. Set aside for at least two hours.

Rinse the radishes, then squeeze out as much water as possible, either by pressing them in a colander or wrapping them in a clean tea towel and squeezing it out. Put the radishes in a bowl, add the sugar and mix well. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve, then stir in the vinegar. Just before serving, stir in the sesame oil.

For an extra visual pop, garnish with slivered chives, black sesame seeds, or whatever else you can think of!

For an extra visual pop, garnish with slivered chives, black sesame seeds, or whatever else you can think of!

Rice & Veggie Bowls with Thai Coconut Lime Dressing

Here's something I don't take pictures of: cooked food.

I take many, many photos of our raw produce (haha, funny joke, everyone knows I only take baby and flowers photos now), but I don't ever photograph prepared meals. I feel that without professional lighting and staging it is basically impossible to make cooked food look appetizing in photographs, and ain't nobody got time for that in high summer. But, if I were ever going to photograph cooked food, it might have been this rice bowl. I guess you'll have to trust me that it was gorgeous and instead enjoy this photo of our carrots, which were featured prominently in said bowl.

This recipe meets one of my main criteria for summer eating in that in can be described by the following three steps. Step one: make some kind of spicy sauce and some kind of rice. Step two: cut up whatever veggies were harvested that day. Step three: mix together in an obscenely large bowl and eat. 

Adapted from this recipe on Food 52 for two people, but you should probably double it - it makes great leftovers! 

For the Thai coconut-lime dressing:
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Zest of 1 lime (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and minced (I used a japapeno!)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

For the salad bowl and toppings:
1 1/2 cups cooked black or red rice
10 ounces poached chicken breast, shredded, if you want. Or tofu. Or nothing.
2 cucumbers
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
1 - 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 hakurei turnips, thinly sliced
1 cup onion scapes or scallions, cut thinly on the bias
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint



Care & Storage

For Eating Fresh: Store unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in your fridge for up to a week.


May - July, September - November

Varieties of Note

Red Round
Pink Beauty
French Breakfast
Easter Egg


Ten Minute Pickled Radishes
Adapted from Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan 

One bunch radishes (about one pound), well scrubbed and cut into thin wedges through the root end
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Combine the radishes with the sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl and toss to coat with the sugar and salt. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste the pickles. If they are too sweet or too salty, put them into a colander, rinse of the seasoning, and dry in a kitchen towel. Taste again and add more sugar or salt as needed. Serve after 5 to 10 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.


Butter-Braised Radishes
From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman 

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola or other neutral oil
1 pound radishes, more or less, trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or white wine
1 tbsp balsamic or other vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Combine the butter and oil in a medium to large skilled that can later be covered; turn the heat to medium. When the butter melts, add the radishes and cook, stirring, until they are coated with butter, just a minute or two longer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnish, stir, and cover. Turn the heat to low and cook until the radishes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the radishes are glazed and the liquid is syrupy, another few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish, and serve. 


Also, the French say to slice fresh radishes and put on toast with butter, but that's not our thing.