The Prettiest Radish You've Ever Seen. The Watermelon Radish.
Flipping the channels between football games on Thanksgiving, we landed on the movie, Forrest Gump. Forrest’s best friend Bubba was teaching him everything there is to know about the shrimpin’ business. “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it….There’s shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger and a shrimp sandwich.”
I was reminded of this scene when reading about all the ways you can eat a Watermelon Radish.
You can eat it raw, shaved or shredded on salad. Eat the red part separate from the white part. Steamed in chunks or slices, plain or drizzled with vinaigrette. Buttered on bread in a sandwich. Served with cold yogurt and cheese for breakfast. Slices sprinkled with a dash of salt. Braised. Pickled. Sliced thinly and dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Or serve it as a garnish.
I’m starting to think I should get into the radish business. And if it catches on here like it has in Japan, radishes could be my meal ticket. One third of all vegetables grown in Japan are radishes. “Japan Tries to Save Giant Radish,” made BBC News headlines in 2006. If Bubba had been teaching Forrest the ways in which radishes are eaten in Japan, it would have taken up the whole movie.
Their radish of choice is the daikon radish. Here’s what they look like.
The giant radish in need of saving was a daikon that figured out how to grow through asphalt. There were plans to capture its seeds and market this radish, until an “unknown assailant” decapitated it. It was rushed to the local agricultural research center for resuscitation.
The watermelon radish has green skin. When you slice it open, the outer layer looks just like a watermelon rind, and the center bright red just like the flesh of the melon. Pretty, eh?
This radish is also called a Red Heart Radish. It’s mild, crisp, with moisture like a snowball. You just feel good after biting into one. It grows best in colder temperatures, and the bigger they are, the milder they are.
I got these from Red Wagon Organic Farm. They also had black radishes, which I’ve read are white on the inside, and much spicier than the watermelons.
Now that I have room to grow some veggies of my own, I will definitely be planting radishes this year. I need to look up my local agricultural extension center in case I need their radish resuscitation services.
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