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Radish, the well known part of your salad, is a root crop, pungent or sweet in taste with a lot of juice. Radishes can be white, red, purple or black, long cylindrical or round in shape. Related to broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, the nutritional value of radishes is relatively high, especially when the whole plant is consumed. The tangy flavor of all types of radishes are due to the mustard oil found in cruciferous plants.

For storage, always cut off the green tops, leaving about one quarter inch on top of the radish. Don't throw those radish greens away. The greens, which boast the majority of the nutritional value of radishes, can be sauteed or braised along with other greens. They should be eaten right away. Radish roots are fine in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Before cooking, radishes need to be rinsed in cold water, and the tips should be trimmed. After that, they are ready to be enjoyed. Because of their spicy, bright flavor, they enhance most dishes. Slice them raw and add to green salads, pasta salads, or even tuna salad. They can be quartered and then sauteed in butter, or roasted in the oven with olive oil.

Crunchy Radish Chips

Radishes aren't just for salads.

Radish Salad with Dry Jack or Parmigiano-Reggiano

Radish Salad with Dry Jack or Parmigiano-Reggiano
serves 2-3
from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison (modified slightly for box quantities)

Deborah says, "this is a very pretty, bright, and lively little salad. You can stray successfully from its utter simplicity by adding some freshly blanched and peeled fava beans, radish sprouts, or very small arugula leaves.

1 bunch French Breakfast radishes
1 tbsp. thinly sliced chives
olive oil
1 to 2 oz. Dry Jack cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
radish sprouts, leaves, or arugula greens, optional

Set aside a handful of the most tender radish greens. Trim the radish roots, leaving just a bit of the stem, and wash them well. Wick up the excess moisture with a towel, then slice thinly, either lengthwise or crosswise. Put them in a bowl and toss with the chives, radish greens and enough oil to coat lightly. Put the radishes on a platter, shave the cheese over them, and add salt and pepper and the greens, if using.