In my last CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) package I received a large bunch of what I thought were baby beets. Upon biting into one, I realized at once that they were large red radishes, and they bit me back with a strong, tasty tang. Â I decided I would try them in stir fries as well as use them raw to add zing to my salads. And actually, when I looked up radishes in my reference book, Heinerman’s New Encyclopedia of Fruits & Vegetables, published by Reward Books, I learned that radishes have been served since the days of Moses.
Note: The pictures above are representative of only 2 types of radishes. Â They come in both round and elongated (fat and skinny) shapes and range in color from white to purple. (See additional recipe below the stir fry recipe, taken from my archives.)
What surprised me most was that radishes (all kinds) are frequently eaten in Europe and Japan to help digest starch foods (potatoes, grains, pastas). Radishes contain diatase, a special digestive enzyme* that aids in the digestion of these foods. Daikon radish, the long white radish that looks like a bleached carrot and is found in Asian dishes, has large amounts of diatase. Â So the next time you serve a starchy meal, be sure to add radishes somewhere in the menu. The recipe below includes the cancer fighting veggies, kale and broccoli, so this is a colorful, healthful dish that reflects my motto, The Good Taste of Health. Â *See Glossary.
Radish Stir Fry
Utensils: Cutting Board, knife, pan for stir frying, saucepan for cooking kale
Prep. Time: 15 Â minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Category: Vegan, Gluten-free
Ingredients (Organic whenever possible, esp. peppers)
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, washed, seeded and slivered
1-2 broccoli tops, washed and sliced (use bottoms in soup stock)
1 large radish or several small, washed, trimmed, and sliced thinly
2-3 mushrooms, washed and sliced
3-4 leaves kale, washed, cut into smaller pieces
seasonings (I used my old standby, 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s)
1. Put water or stock to boil in saucepan for kale. Prepare all the veggies as described above. Before starting the stir fries, place kale in the cooking water or stock and simmer on the stove, separate from the rest of the ingredients. (Cooking kale separately will eliminate any bitterness from the dish.)
2. In a large fry pan or wok, add a small amount of water or stock (1/2-1 cup). First put in garlic and broccoli, and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
3. Then add peppers and mushrooms, and cook another 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary to keep veggies from burning.
4. Â Check on kale. If it is soft, drain and add to stir fires and cook another 2-3 minutes. (Kale water can be added to plants when it is cold.)
5. Stir in seasoning and allow to cook another minute or two. (Veggies should be crunchy-tender, not soggy and not raw.)
6. Finally, add one to two tablespoons of Â toasted sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Serves two as a main dish, four as a side dish. Feel free to serve over rice or pasta. (Remember, the radishes help to digest starch.)
Below is a radish salad from my archives that I thought I would reprint so you could also use your radishes raw, which means the diatase enzyme will really do its job. This also uses many different colored radishes, as well as daikon radish.
Utensils: Cutting board, knife, bowl, food processor or grater
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
One bunch multi-colored organic radishes, washed and trimmed
One organic daikon radish, washed well
One bunch organic scallions, washed and trimmed
Leaf of red cabbage
(Sesame seeds added after dressing is used)
1. Wash and trim multi-colored radishes. Then hand grate or place in a food processor and shred. Place in the bowl.
2. Scrub daikon well and peel if skin looks tough or isnâ€™t organic. Cut into smaller pieces and then grate or place in food processor and shred. Add to bowl.
3. Clean scallions, trim, and slice crosswise into small pieces up to the green or including 1/2â€³ of green if it isnâ€™t too tough.
4. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette or the sesame dressing below.
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
1 Tbl. umeboshi plum vinegar
dash of ginger juice
dash soy sauce or Braggâ€™s Aminos
Pour dressing over radishes and toss until well-coated.
Sprinkle on some sesame seeds (black or natural) and serve over a bed of baby greens or with a leaf of red cabbage, as in the photo. (I made individual servings.)