This root often stumps CSA members and market shoppers. It grows well in the Pacific Northwest, keeps well and is very nutritious–rich in Vitamin C and particularly good for digestion and liver and gall-bladder health. It’s more common in my native Germany, especially in Bavaria where it is a fresh, crunchy accompaniment to beer and the requisite bread, cheeses and meats that go with the beer. They are delicious mashed or turned into kraut alongside roasted meats.
Much like turnips or watermelon radishes the black radish is good both cooked and raw. The black radish is typically a bit spicier and the flesh is even firmer. The spiciness can be off set with sweeter vegetables like apples and carrots in a lovely slaw or it can be mellowed with cream and/or butter in a mash or gratin. I do particularly love them sliced as thinly as you can and roasted with salt and olive oil until crisp/chewy.
Good Techniques for Black Radishes:
- Thinly sliced and roasted
- Thinly sliced and lightly salted and left to soften for 20-30 minutes
- Grated and used in a winter slaw with cabbage and carrots—I particularly like a creamy yogurt or mayo or sour-cream based dressing with some mustard and plenty of vinegar and a little reduced apple cider syrup (recipe below) for this combo of veggies
- Made into Kraut (recipe below)
- Finely diced and added to a hash
- Diced and added to soups or stews
- Mashed by themselves or with other roots with cream, butter or sour cream