"Brassicaceae", "Cruciferae", names of the cabbage family of vegetables. I was surprised that arugula was one of those members, along with bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, watercress to name a few. They are all powerhouses of vitamins, fiber and are great for an anti inflammatory diet.
Radishes are rich in folic acid, ascorbic acid, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium.
I have tried and tried to like radishes the french way: eaten with butter and salt. It just does not do it for me. This spring, we grew them in the YWCA urban garden and they came up so faithfully. In only a few weeks they were plump and sitting on the soil, letting you know they were ready. We sliced them and ate them along with our fresh lettuce greens tossed with a simple vinaigrette. We also threw in some cooked french green lentils (great protein and fiber source) and some shaved carrots.
Vinaigrettes are easily made and stored in canning jars. The simplest one starts with 1/3 part acid: lemon juice or any favorite vinegar (balsamic, sherry, cider, raspberry). Then, eyeballing it, add 2/3 part olive oil. Add salt, pepper, any chopped fresh herbs you have on hand (chives, garlic scapes, tarragon, parsley). Shake vigorously so that you emulsify the dressing. Drizzle on and toss well. We leave our salad dressing out of the refridgerator for days...just give it a shake and you are ready.
With this crop, I tried pickling radishes, thanks to a suggestion of Courtney's. They are so good! Good for fish tacos, good to put out with cheeses, good to eat alone to get the appetite going. These are "refridgerator pickles" so they will not last forever like hot water canning jars, they need to stay in the fridge. I guarantee they won't last long... we went through our jar in an evening.
I leave you with a couple recipes I found, that I plan to try next batch of radishes: a roasted moroccan mint and brassica salad and a radish and orange chopped salad.
Here is the lovely summer garden crew for the YWCA. Amy, working in the shelter, Kim, tending the garden and the volunteers. They are great.