When I was researching what I could grow in the fall and winter garden of northwest Florida, I saw that radishes were an option. I had never really cared much for radishes before, but I don’t like to have bare ground in the garden when it could produce a crop. I noticed that ‘daikon’ was a variety recommended by the University of Florida’s gardening calendar.
So, when I was in my local feed-n-seed store and saw those seeds for sale in bulk, I promptly purchased some.
Then, I went home and researched my newly purchased daikons.
I did not see images of little red spheres. I saw huge white carrot-like roots.
Undeterred, I went ahead and grew some anyway.
I’m glad I did! The few that I did plant as a trial germinated well and have been a fuss-free crop. Here’s a simple way to prepare this unique vegetable.
First, select some daikons, either from your garden or from a grocery. I walked outside and pulled mine. Three this size will make sides for 2 people.
You will also need olive oil, one clove of garlic, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of minced fresh tarragon, and kosher salt.
Wash them very well, no need to peel. The greens can sometimes have sand lodged in them, so be sure to trim them off and rinse well. Don’t be afraid to be a little rough with them in order to remove all the grittiness.
Unless, of course, you want to simultaneously remove plaque from your teeth and eat your dinner. That’s a bit too much multitasking for me, so I just wash my greens really well.
Slice the root into thin medallions and coarsely chop the greens.
I love how every part of this vegetable has a use, even the scraps. They will be turned into compost for another crop. No waste here!
Next, heat some olive oil in a skillet ( I used cast iron) on medium heat, then lightly brown some minced garlic in the oil. Add the medallions first and cook until lightly browned and slightly translucent.
My Certified Executive Chef father-in-law suggested this next step that really elevates this dish. Deglazing. Don’t skip it- it really is easy!
Turn the heat to high, be sure the skillet is nice and hot, then pour in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. You will see lots of bubbling and really smell the vinegar, but don’t panic! The bubbling is loosening all those little flavorful pieces that would otherwise stay stuck to the skillet and is putting them in your dish.
Now, start adding the chopped greens a handful at a time, wilting them a bit. Once your greens are all in, add a pinch of minced fresh tarragon. Continue to cook over medium heat until the root medallions are lightly browned and the greens are wilted, stirring frequently. If you prefer a milder flavor for your radishes, just leave the skillet over medium-low heat for a few more minutes.
Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and enjoy!
Looking for something sweet? Try my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry Walnut cookies!
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