From the Farm – Rosy Smit, Culinary Gardener

Among the easiest and fastest vegetables to grow, radishes are a cousin to broccoli and kale and come in many shapes, sizes and colors.  Red, pink, purple, black, white and colors in between, radishes offer a peppery crunch when eaten raw. Radishes are included in the genus Raphnus, translated from Greek meaning ‘quickly appearing’ which is indicative of their growth rate.  Typically eaten raw, radishes can also be roasted, grated or sliced.  Their green tops are also edible and can be used like salad greens.  Remember to separate roots from leaves as soon as you can after pulling or purchasing, and store the tops in your fridge crisper as you would other greens.
An excellent source of Vitamin C, fiber, folate, riboflavin and potassium, radishes are a popular garden crop as they can be planted and harvested early in the growing season and subsequently planted for later harvests throughout the summer and fall.  Can you plant them in a pot on your deck?  Yes!  They grow just fine in small spaces.  In the Camp Korey garden, we start planting radishes in early April and then plant once or twice a month right through August.  Most varieties take around 21 days to grow, from planting seeds to harvesting.  Varieties planted in the garden include Easter Egg, Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, Sparkler, Icicle, Pink Beauty and German Giant.

To the Table – Executive Chef Kim Aue

Here in the Camp Korey kitchen we tend to not do much “cooking” with the radishes we get from the garden. We like to slice them fairly thin and use them on the salad bar, or pickle them and add them to our “build your own” rice bowl. Now, all of that being said, the most talked about application for the radishes is the food carvings.
These Radish Mice are fairly easy to make.
You will need the following supplies:

  • Radishes
  • Paring Knife
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Tablespoon (optional)

Step One: Wash the radishes and remove the stems (you will want to keep the root – it serves as the tail). Using your paring knife cut off a small disc; this “flattened” area will serve as the bottom and helps to make sure they “sit” properly.
Step Two:  Cut three more discs. I like to start with the “nose” area first. Cut off the stem end, not the root end. Then make the two cuts on the left and right side of the nose. Also, do not discard these discs, they will be used in step three.
Step Three: Make two slits behind the eye area. These slits serve as the ear holder.
Step Four:  Now, here comes the fun part – adding the eyes and the nose. Press a peppercorn into the white areas on the left and right for the eyes, then one in the middle for the nose. Sometimes, it can be tough to get the peppercorn to stay in place, so I use the back of a spoon. Place the peppercorn where you want it, and press firmly on the spoon to force the peppercorn into the radish.
If you are like me, I cannot stop at one, so I tend to make more for display, and for just plain ‘ol FUN!
I also like to mix up the colors of the mice ears so that the ears are different colors.