Growing radishes in the hot Aussie summer isn't recommended, yet I can't help but feel a little disappointed with this morning's harvest. In my mind, I was going to have a huge bunch to eat and share!
Radishes remind me of my childhood where we would visit my grandma's neighbours across the road who had the only glass greenhouse I'd ever seen. They seemed to grow everything and would pick radishes and eat them like apples. I still remember my first taste of these crunchy, crispy, peppery things and spitting them out in absolute disgust!
I managed to get one good, but very small, radish and the others are heading back to the soil for a longer stint with the rest of their family. I'm hoping to let some go to seed for future use too.
Radishes need to be harvested when the root is around an inch or 2.5cm long to get the best taste, so I'm sticking to this guideline. When I first planted them it occurred to me I would have no idea when to harvest...but I was talking to another mum at a kids party about it, who turned out to not only be a nail technician, but a trained horticulturalist ....she told me you can see the bulb just poking out of the soil when it's time. After 2+ years of play dates and kindy/school drop-off I had no idea she had the skills I wish for. (Just goes to show that us mums talk way to much about our kids!)
Growing some of your own food certainly gives you a greater appreciation for how long it takes AND it does make us want to waste less food. Imagine if we had to grow everything we ate! (guess I'd focus on cacao 😂)
I've been growing these in a mini greenhouse with some other edibles...and possibly a few weeds (I'm not sure yet which are the weeds, but a little parsley has sprung up which looks promising). The kids are also showing some interest in watching it grow and it's lovely to water the garden together at night before bed. I'm really looking forward to the cooler months when we can grow peas and beans to eat straight from the garden.
This took 5 weeks! But I'm hoping the others will take off despite the temperature going back up to 40 this week. These little red gems are best grown in winter and spring so I expect when I stick to those seasons I'm going to see waay better results. I was just impatient for a kitchen garden 😋
I'm still excited to eat this one in a salad today, or maybe with avocado on toast... and saving the greens for a stir-fry. They feel rough, but I think a light fry in the wok at the end of the stir-fry will make the texture a little nicer. Apparently these greens give spinach and kale a run for their money and are packed full of nutrients.
As I've probably got more greens than radish I really don't want to waste any.
Once the others have matured I'd love to try making a pesto with the greens and maybe saving a some in the freezer for winter soups. At this stage I'm not sure if I can use the stalk, but I'm assuming it's useful for stock at least.
I'm pretty sure no one else in our house is going to be into radishes , but once I get the hang of this I might try and convert them.
Here's a few recipes I've found that look well worth trying:
-Radish and Macadamia Pesto (from Tasting Table)
-Fried Eggs on Toast with Salted Herb Butter and Radishes (From Bonappetit)
-Radish and Nori Butter (From Eatwell Farm)
-Cinnamon Sugar Radish Chips (From A Pinch of Yum)
-Miso Mule Radish Cocktail (from Wine Enthusiast)
Got any tips or recipes to share with me for my future crop? I'd love to hear them! Comment below with all your radish secrets.