FROM THE GARDEN: Radishes

It’s not too late to get some radishes in the ground at your house.

radishes in child's hand

Fresh from Natalia’s garden, breakfast radishes.

While the crazy weather this spring may be driving the human denizens of Long Island nuts, the radishes in my garden seem to love it. We have a bumper crop of my favorites: French breakfast (Raphanus sativus). The radishes are an inch or two long, pink and white and pretty, with mild heat and a lot of crunch; young leaves can be chopped and added to a salad.

And true to their name, French breakfast radishes make a nice breakfast or tea sandwich (although I have never seen anyone, French or otherwise, have them for breakfast except me). While I like to roast my late fall crop slathered in butter and oil, in warmer weather I simply rinse the radishes gently, slice thin (no peeling required) and layer on top of white bread and good butter with a sprinkle of finishing salt on top. The sweet butter plays nicely with the sharpness of the radish and the salt punches it up a bit.

Haven’t planted any? Well go ahead and stick them in the ground between slower growing plants any time between now and (especially) early autumn. They don’t mind crowding and are quick to mature, which makes them a perfect starter vegetable for planting with kids. They will be ready to harvest in about 20 days.

For more easy seasonal recipes, visit Natalia’s blog Hot, Cheap & Easy.

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Natalia de Cuba Romero writes from her home in Massapequa Park, and chronicles simple seasonal recipes for the produce she gets as a Restoration Farm member at hotcheapeasy.wordpress.com. She is a full-time lecturer at Nassau Commmunity College.