The Ravishing Radish Challenge

IMG_2122On Friday, City Roots harvested over 80 pounds of beauty in the form of these Easter Egg Radishes. We grew them alongside the carrots as a companion crop. Fast growing radishes help the slow growing carrots by keeping the soil from crusting over before they germinate and shading out most weeds with their leaves. They also help mark rows as carrot tops can be hard to see.

As other volunteers brought in crate after crate of radishes for me to arrange, I began to feel like I was working in a candy shop. Such vibrant lollipop-like colors are usually confined to the air conditioned candy aisle at the supermarket, not a hot field. For awhile, I felt more like an artist than a farmer, lining the pearly white with the lipstick red and hanging the amethyst purple next to the blushed pink. A lady at the farmer’s market said the next day that they are pretty enough to put in a bowl as a centerpiece, forget about eating them. But I have to disagree. Something so beautiful deserves to eaten, not roll around in bowl till they’re old and wrinkly.

All of my previous experience with radishes has been of the bagged salad variety. So, spurred on by the current beauty and abundance, I rubbed the dirt off of one and took my first bite of a real radish. True to their siren song of colors, my radish began as cool and enticingly crunchy as a cucumber. But then, once I’d committed and swallowed, it threatened to drown my adventure seeking taste buds in a fiery wasabi-like spiciness. I was hooked.

But what do you do with radishes? Especially 80 pounds worth? You can only slice so many radishes over a salad. As I’ve written about before, dilemmas like this are an unavoidable part of eating seasonally. Like the waves of lettuce that crash over market stalls in the spring, something must be done with this harvest. We don’t have the luxury of nibbling a little radish now and then, confident that they will still be lining grocery store shelves when we want them again. They are here now and, like a beautiful woman that passes quickly in the street, demand our attention.

So again, what do you do with radishes? That is what I intend to find out. After the market, I brought home a crate of radishes. To put my money where my locavorian mouth is, I entered myself in . . .

The Ravishing Radish Challenge
The Goal: To use upĀ  9 lbs. 8oz. of radishes by creating dishes centered around the beguiling quality of the radish
The Contestants: Me and 181 radishes
The Rules:
1. All parts of the radish must be used. This includes the greens.
2. Only 10% of the total weight of radishes may be relegated to compost.
3. Each day must have unique recipes. No repeats of successful dishes.
4. Complete recipes must be posted daily.
5. The challenge must be completed within seven days.

Bring it on.


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Posted in Uncategorized 14 years, 2 months ago at 2:17 pm.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. Rachelle May 2nd 2010

    Ambitious! I hope you will keep us informed of Mr. Quotidian’s comments.

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