Why Radishes Are So Much More Than a Boring Salad Bar Topping

Radishes come in a myriad of different flavors and colors—here's why you should give this underdog veg a second look.

I didn't really think much about radishes until the perfect one showed up in front of me. Until that moment, radishes were an afterthought—a crisp, ice-pink, rough-cut orb on a salad bar. Not much taste, but a pleasant-enough texture. I'd heard people waxing wacky over the butter-coated radishes at NoMad in NYC and I thought yeah, yeah, maybe I'll order some while I'm scouring the menu for the real food. But these radishes derailed me.

More youthful than the dry, split-skinned specimens I was accustomed to, these were tender French globes with their tips intact, and they were enrobed in a thin skin of sweet butter. A small plume of leaves still attached at the top formed a delicate handhold for delicate nibbling and oh, what's that? A pinch of fleur de sel to throw the whole thing into sensory overdrive.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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I've been radish mad from then on, but here's the hitch: Even the best markets max out at one or two varieties. Might as well plant your own, because it's so, so simple. Radishes are incredibly easy to start from seed, they grow like gangbusters, and—bonus—you can have your way with the greens, which make a pleasingly peppery addition to salads, a sassy pesto, or a fantastic side dish sauteed with your favorite allium and a little oil. And if you can't even wait that long, the sprouts themselves pop up quickly and announce themselves boldly in the presence of other raw vegetables and sandwich spreads.

But if you can muster the patience, you'll be rewarded with a rainbow of options. French Breakfast radishes are my favorite in part for their gorgeousness—a searing pink fading abruptly into white—but mostly for their sense-shocking fire. They're lovely alone or with a cooling dip, or served alongside tacos, but do not deny yourself the perfect pleasure of enjoying them sliced on some thickly-buttered baguette with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Watermelon radishes earn their evocative name from their striking resemblance to the fruit when they're sliced open, and they bring a glorious blaze and sharp bite to salads, burgers, and sandwiches—not to mention a righteous quick pickle.

On the darker side of the spectrum, Spanish radishes sport a coal-dark exterior that gives way to moon-pale flesh inside.They look Goth as heck when they're roasted, and maintain some, but not all, of their spice. If you can get your paws on some Violet De Gournay, Purple Plum, or Pusa Jamuni, please do treat yourself. They are, as you may have intuited, gloriously purple (the last one all the way through) and a genuine joy to present to guests on a crudité tray or in a show-off salad.

And lest it seem like I'm giving short shrift to the humble Red or Scarlet Globe radish, I'm not. That staple of salad bars and relish trays works hard and is reliably delicious—it's just served carelessly a lot of the time. If you possibly can, maintain at least a little of the thoroughly edible tops so you can dip and bite.

When you're storing homegrown or store-bought radishes in the fridge, trim those tops, cover the bulbs loosely with a lightly dampened paper towel and place that all in an open plastic bag to keep everything from drying out. Once you have better radishes on hand, you'll find yourself deploying them every you have a chance. How very rad, indeed.


If you’re looking for a tasty, hardy dish that’s loaded withall the good feels of comfort food without the unwanted calories, then look nofurther than this Indian style Chickpea Masala! This is a super quick and easyrecipe that you can use as a meal prep option or a quick and luxurious dinnerfor the family. Chickpeas are loaded with protein and minerals and I just loveincorporating them into my dishes. The stars of this recipe have to be thespices! They bring out the fire roasted tomatoes beautifully enveloped withrich coconut cream. You can pick up a ready-made Garam Masala seasoning jarfrom Clark’s that gets all your masala spices into one jar. These include thecinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and my two favorites, cardamom andcoriander. These two spices have similar benefits, they can both be used tonaturally treat high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and digestive issues.The best part is that they both have a subtle floral flavor that gives such agreat touch to this onion and garlic infused dish. I hope you love it as muchas I do!

1. Place oil in a medium sized pot on high heat.Once hot add the chopped onion and sauté. Once softened and golden (about 5-7minutes) add garlic and ginger and mix for 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the fire roasted tomatoes.

4. Strain the garbanzo beans, rinse under water,and add to the pot.

5. After mixing thoroughly, set to medium heat forabout 5-7 minutes.

6. Add the garam masala, salt, lime juice, andcayenne pepper, mix well, and set to simmer for 10-15 minutes until flavorshave well dispersed throughout the pot.

7. In the meantime, prepare your rice, follow theinstructions on your pack.

8. Once ready, turn off heat for both the rice andmasala, place rice in a bowl and top with a generous portion of the ChickpeaMasala with a garnish of fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

1 Can fire roasted tomatoes

1 large white onion, chopped

2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 ½ tsp garam masala by Frontier Co-op

A few dashes of cayenne pepper

1 ½ C rice (follow instructions)

Why Radishes Are So Much More Than a Boring Salad Bar Topping - Recipes

Plus Advice for New Vegetable Gardeners and What Else to Do with Radishes

French Breakfast Radishes (Love that Name) Harvested in My Kitchen Garden last June

It's so easy to get sucked into the romantic allure of vegetable gardening. You scatter some seeds in the dirt, watch them burst forth and grow, and a few weeks later you gleefully skip outside wearing a straw hat and toting a cute basket to harvest armfuls of picture perfect bounty.

So effortless! So rewarding! So not what really happens most of the time—which is why many new gardeners quickly become frustrated, vowing to never again spend $164 and countless hours only to end up with four tomatoes, two small heads of bug-bitten cabbage, one scraggly basil plant, and so many giant zucchini their neighbors have started avoiding them (sort of like what happened to this guy).

Now you know I'm the last person to dissuade someone from starting an edible garden, and I personally think every unused, chemical-laden front lawn in the country should be torn up and turned into an organic potager. Homegrown anything always tastes better, and even after all these years I find nothing more rewarding than being able to step outside and pick part of my own lunch or dinner from my garden.

That said, I do have a few words of advice for budding gardeners. Please don't go crazy and mail order 75 different kinds of seeds during a snowstorm and/or cram your entire car full of seedlings from the nursery on the first day of spring. You're only going to end up totally overwhelmed—and annoyed. Instead, start small. Start with radishes. Radishes? I can hear you saying. Yes, radishes.

Colorful Easter Egg Radishes (and One French Breakfast) from My Garden

Most people don't know this, but homegrown radishes taste wonderful—crisp and peppery and alive with freshly dug flavor. They have fun names like French Breakfast, Crunchy Royale, and Easter Egg, come in a rainbow of beautiful colors, and are actually two crops in one because you can also eat the leaves, which are full of Vitamin C and calcium.

A member of the cabbage/cruciferous family (you know, the one whose members all have those amazing anti-cancer properties), the low calorie radish has been used over the years to help everything from runny noses and respiratory problems to digestive disorders and liver troubles.

But, most importantly, radishes will almost never let you down in the garden. You really do just scatter some seeds in the dirt (they prefer cool, moist soil), watch them burst forth and grow, and then a few weeks later gleefully skip out and harvest armfuls of picture perfect bounty—straw hat and cute basket optional. You can even grow radishes in pots.

That's all well and good, I can hear you saying, but what am I supposed to do with armfuls of radishes besides toss them in salads and carve them into mice and musicians?

All sorts of things. Chopped radishes add a pleasant zing to tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, and even fresh tomato salsa. You can toss them into your favorite coleslaw, and I just realized they'd be a great addition to my Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw.

Try layering sliced radishes on a roast beef sandwich, or use paper thin slices to garnish hot soups. Ooh, some finely chopped radishes would probably be perfect atop a chilled bowl of Quick & Easy Gazpacho (which I've been meaning to make for days). You can even braise radishes in a little butter, with or without some minced shallots, though I have yet to try this.

It's still too hot here in southern Missouri to plant more radishes yet, but when my next crop is ready, I'm determined to finally make some pickled radishes. I also don't want to be the only radish lover around who still hasn't enjoyed the classic French sandwich people are always swooning over: spread a halved crusty baguette (I'll use one of the Four Hour Parisian Baguettes I love so much) with your favorite butter, top with thinly sliced radishes, and sprinkle with some nice salt.

But what I really want to do is make a whole lot more of this simple yet scrumptious dip.

So what's your favorite way to eat radishes?

My Less Fuss, More Flavor way of cooking usually involves simplifying recipes, but this time I applied my More, More, More philosophy to the original three ingredient version of this healthy spread—upping the scallions (purple spring onions work well, too) and adding in some lemon juice, chopped parsley, and feta.

To make a thicker sandwich spread, use a little more cream cheese. I also like this mixed with cottage cheese, either eaten as a dip or in a dish with a spoon. I would have used even more radishes, but the spread started to get a little watery. Alanna makes her version with only 4 ounces of cream cheese, though, so it may depend on the variety of radishes you use.

The flavors improve after mingling for a little while, so make this at least a few hours before serving if you can. As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients—they really do make a difference in so many ways.

2 cups (8 ounces) halved or quartered radishes
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (purple spring onions are nice, too)
½ cup (or more to taste) packed chopped fresh parsley
8 ounces (or more) cream cheese, softened
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt (start with less if you're including the feta)
Several grinds of fresh pepper

Whiz the radishes, scallions, and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the cream cheese, feta cheese (if using—or you can always stir it into part or all of the batch later), lemon juice, salt, and pepper and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary. Add more cream cheese if you'd like a thicker sandwich spread, or stir in (or process in) some cottage cheese if desired.

Serve with fresh veggies, crackers, pita chips (made from homemade pita breads perhaps?), pretzels or baguette slices. Helen says her favorite springtime open-faced sandwich is a slice of bread with radish spread and smoked salmon, and Alanna likes stirring her spread into steamed broccoli. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Courtesy of Lil Luna

Planning a delicious picnic on the beach? Don't forget to pack your cooler with this light and flavorful summer salad. It's packed with invigorating ingredients such as fresh lime zest, basil, cucumber, and feta, and it's rich in plenty of satiating fiber from the corn.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.

Cheeze-it-ish crackers (page 10)

From Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

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  • Categories: Cookies, biscuits & crackers Canapés / hors d'oeuvre
  • Ingredients: Gruyère cheese Aleppo pepper all-purpose flour butter

Why Radishes Are So Much More Than a Boring Salad Bar Topping - Recipes

I’ve learned that the one of easiest ways to stick to a budget is managing how often I go out to eat. Say I bought five lunches during the work week, at an average of $10 a piece: by the end of the year I would have spent $2,500 on mediocre deli sandwiches. For the same price, I could have purchased items I would have truly appreciated, like 11 roundtrip flights to visit my family, 215 movie tickets or 2,131 king-size (!) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Luckily, I discovered a solution…

Behold, the glory of Trader Joe’s zero-prep, no-hassle Southwestern Chopped Salad. The $2.99 kit contains cabbage, romaine, carrots, radishes, crumbled cotija cheese, pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, green onion, a bit of cilantro and a zesty avocado dressing. When I add a scoop of black beans or some avocado, it’s enough for two meals — at less than $2 each. (There’s also a tangy Broccoli & Kale version that tastes delicious in flour tortillas or with leftover rotisserie chicken.)

Is the salad kit exciting and beautiful? Not exactly. Delicious and a conversation starter? I promise you. Walking through the store with this little guy in my basket sparks more conversations and compliments from fellow fans than I ever imagined. Once prepared (mixed in a bowl and sprinkled with flaky salt), even officemates lean over their $14 chicken sandwiches to say, “Wow, where’d you get that?” Anyway, I thought I’d give you a heads up!

What are your go-to easy meals? Any budget-friendly tips? Or other Trader Joe’s items I’m missing out on? )

5. ‘Parmesan’ Roasted Potato Salad

Source: Parmesan Roasted Potato Salad

Roasted potato salads generally make a great side dish for all sorts of meals. Veggie burgers, hot dogs, and patties all are nicely rounded out by a side of flavorful potato salad. This Parmesan Roasted Potato Salad by Stephanie McKinnie brings the idea to the next level by adding some delicious Brazil nut Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Apricot & Burrata Board

Charcuterie boards, wine and summertime go together like PB&J. I’m reimagining charcuterie with this absolutely incredible board. Grilled apricots bring sweet, tart, and a bit of char – Spanish serrano ham brings delicate smoke and salt – burrata brings indulgent creaminess – Swiss chard adds crunch, a hint of bitter and sweet. All tossed with a citrusy vinaigrette, it’s really a beautiful, early summer dream.

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!

Makes: 1 board to split among 2-4 people (large or small portions)

The Ingredients

3 relatively firm apricots, halved and pits removed

¼ pound sliced serrano (jambon) ham

Small bunch swiss chard, roughly chopped (

3 large leaves + stems left on)

1 tablespoon apricot preserves/jelly

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

The Steps

Leave burrata at room temperature while assembling board.

Brush apricots with olive oil, and grill apricots on both sides for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until nice grill marks are achieved. Let apricots cool.

Whisk together apricot preserves, orange juice, white balsamic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, gently toss swiss chard, grilled apricots and vinaigrette. Set aside any leftover vinaigrette on bottom of bowl.

On a medium cutting board or serving platter, add dressed swiss chard and apricots.

Pull apart burrata into large chunks and place pieces throughout board.

Pull apart large pieces of serrano ham and scatter throughout board.

Drizzle any leftover vinaigrette on top of board.

Finish with balsamic glaze.

My STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO below will help guide you through the recipe. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for recipe videos every week!

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Easy and popular side dishes the are winners for this Thanksgiving’s feast. I have put together a collection of our favorite recipes I hope your family will enjoy too. We like traditional Thanksgiving recipes such as, sweet potato casserole, pineapple bake, and broccoli casserole. This year, however, we are mixing it up with some new recipes too.

Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes

It would not seem like thanksgiving without the traditional side dishes. I wanted to share some of our favorites with you.

Sweet Potato Casserole

What is more traditional than sweet potato casserole served on Thanksgiving? Every year I make the sweet potato casserole and I have tweaked my recipe over the years to what it is today — the BEST Sweet Potato Casserole Ever.

Delicious Sweet Potato Casserole

Baked Pineapple Casserole

This classic Thanksgiving favorite is easy to make and everyone looks forward to it every year. My favorite Baked Pineapple Casserole recipe was created by Sharon from Grits and Pine Cones. Sharon’s recipe has the perfect combination of salt, sweet and of course buttery cheesy topping.

Southern Baked Pineapple Casserole

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Looking for the ultimate in comfort food? Fluffy, cheesy whipped potatoes that you will be dreaming about for days. The best recipe for this favorite was created by Michelle from The Last Food Blog. Thanksgiving’s mashed potatoes just got better with butter and cheese! Your guests will be asking for the recipe so print some out before dinner.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is so easy to make ahead and delicious too. If you like fresh cranberry sauce you will want to serve my favorite cranberry recipe created by Sam from Sugar Spun Run. Sam’s delicious Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe features fresh cranberries and 3 other ingredients. Your guests will enjoy how the cranberry sauce compliments your Thanksgiving turkey.

Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli is one of my family’s favorite vegetables, so this yummy Broccoli Casserole created by Janelle from Num’s The Word is a holiday staple. Janelle’s broccoli and cheese casserole with buttery Ritz crackers is the best holiday broccoli casserole we have tried.

Broccoli Casserole Thanksgiving side dish

Cornbread Pudding

Savory cornbread pudding is the best way to use leftover cornbread. So make the cornbread the night before and use the leftovers for cornbread pudding the next day. Your guests will be delighted with this side dish from Pinch and Swirl.

Savory Cornbread Bread Pudding

Easy Sausage Stuffing Recipe

It would be sinful not to serve stuffing on Thanksgiving and we like the sausage stuffing. My daughter, Olivia, makes the stuffing every year and she might add a thing or two to the sausage stuffing recipe such as diced apples or cranberries, but the basic easy recipe is the same. If you love easy and delicious you will want to add Easy Sausage Stuffing from Joy Food Sunshine to your Thanksgiving menu.

Thanksgiving side dishes Savory Sausage Stuffing

Modern Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I like to serve several green vegetables for Thanksgiving and I wanted to add some modern recipes to liven up the menu. If you have been serving traditional side dishes for Thanksgiving then your guests will be delighted to find some “new” fare on the menu. and it can get a little boring so adding some “new” sides to you menu keeps your Thanksgiving menu exciting.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Fall is my favorite time of year with beautiful weather and great food! This fresh and modern salad will be a fast favorite too I am sure. Roasted butternut squash, bacon, radishes, apple, candied pecans, feta cheese served over a bed of crisp greens and topped with maple mustard vinaigrette salad dressing. Ashlea from All the Healthy Things created this amazing Fall Harvest Salad.

Fall Harvest Roasted Butternut Salad – Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Maple Balsamic

Have you tried roasted brussels sprouts? Simple ingredients and a baking pan are all this recipe requires. Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts was created by Kristine from Kristine’s Kitchen. Roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, pecans and dried cranberries will be another “new” Thanksgiving side dish favorite.

Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Are you hungry yet who wouldn’t be after seeing all those beautiful recipe photos?

You might also like this related posts:

10 Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey recipes you will find HERE.

The Best Apple Cake Recipes you can find them HERE.

What are your Thanksgiving side dish must haves, such as potatoes, stuffing, green veggie?

Want a Stress-Free Holiday Season:

Want to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer, but it all seems over whelming? Join me as we enjoy a stress-free holiday season with a ton of inspiration, money saving ideas for decorating, gift giving, and so much more. Join HERE! And have the best of everything this holiday.

Thank you for your visit today I hope you found some sweet inspiration. What is you favorite Christmas cookie?

Other brunch board themes and ideas

Brunch boards are not just limited to bagels! If prefer pancakes or waffles are calling your name, here are a few other breakfast and brunch themes that could star on your brunch board beyond bagels:

40+ Memorial Day Food Ideas for the Perfect Three-Day Weekend

Your entire Memorial Day menu, including the best burgers, sides, desserts and of course, drinks.

If you're planning a family barbecue this Memorial Day, you're going to need the perfect amount of summer cocktails, delicious Memorial Day side dishes, juicy burger recipes and, of course, sweet desserts. Look no further than these Memorial Day food ideas that are sure to pair perfectly with any outdoor games you have planned to make your festivities extra special. Build the most iconic Memorial Day recipes loaded with grilled steaks, BBQ side dishes (bring on the coleslaw) and epic BBQ salads.

Make an extra batch of this zesty Argentinian-inspired herb, garlic and chili sauce. You're going to want to spread it on everything.

Throwing cabbage on the grill before tossing with a sweet and tangy rice vinegar and brown sugar vinaigrette adds extra flavor to this vegan side dish.

Once you toss this game-day classic on the grill, you'll never go back to boring fried wings again.

Grilled lemon slices add just the right amount of zing to this cheese-and-pepper combo.