Easter Egg Radishes–Not So Hot

My first radishes started maturing this week, a month after sowing. With so many crops that take two or three months to start producing a harvest, it’s nice to have something that feels (almost) like instant gratification.

Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed with the result. I planted Easter Egg Radish Mix, for the variety of colors as well as the extended harvest period. The Southern Exposure catalog didn’t mention, though, that Easter Egg radishes are pretty mild. My favorite way to eat radishes–a recipe I picked up in France–is sliced on top of buttered bread. The butter helps cut the spiciness. The only problem is, if your radishes aren’t very spicy to begin with, like these Easter Eggs, you won’t get the slightest zing when you eat them with butter.

The other thing that I could have anticipated but somehow failed to notice in the seed catalog is that all the Easter Egg radishes, whatever color, are round. This makes them very cute, but they’re less sliceable. And the slices are of varying diameters, making for less uniform presentation. I realized that what I really wanted were the radishes I grew in France. They’re a kind called “demi-longs“–half-long–and have a very distinctive cylindrical shape, mostly pink with a white tip. My favorite seed company, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, doesn’t currently carry them (maybe I’ll have to suggest it to them!). But with a little internet research, I’ve found these radishes advertised by Gurney’s as “French Breakfast.” I think I may have to get some, if not this year then next.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my radishes in other ways, where the little heat they have will be more detectable. I’ll have them cut up on salads, with a very light vinaigrette. And of course I’ll eat some plain–straight from the dirt!

Question: Does anyone eat radish leaves? Maybe as a potherb? Or to give a mustardy flavor to salads?


It turns out that Easter Egg radishes are hot, but only once they get a little bigger. You have to let them mature to about a quarter size to get the heat!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. marvegal says:

    They look delish!

  2. Sheryl says:

    I’ve grown radishes as microgreens – a few tucked into a sandwich give a little kick of extra flavour!

    1. Sharon says:

      So does that mean you eat just the cotyledons? Not the hairy true leaves?

      1. Sheryl says:

        I usually let them grow the first two true leaves after the cotyledons, and harvest them around that point. They grow so fast I only sow a very small amount at a time, just enough for a sandwich or two (if I can help it, I’d rather eat microgreens fresh than store them in the fridge).

  3. I’m growing the “French Breakfast”, some “Spanish Black” (very fun), and some “Philadelphia White Box”. I’m so glad to see others love radishes too!

  4. katedefleury says:

    Radishes are good in a stir fry – slice thinly and add near the end of the cooking time so they stay crunchy. I think I need to add some to my planting schedule, as those in the shops here tend to be huge & tasteless!

  5. I grew radishes for the first time this year, and they turned out very well. There’s just something so yummy about eating them straight from the ground!

  6. delona says:

    I use radish greens like turnip greens, especially the ones that aren’t too hairy. A farmer at the local farmers’ market told me he eats the young smooth ones in salads.

    1. Sharon says:

      Well, I guess that means I’m going to have to try them! Maybe with a big chunk of butter, they’ll be good…

  7. Jason says:

    Yes! One of our favorite salads features a mix of greens — including radish greens. They’re definitely rougher than most of the other greens, but they have a zingy sweetness that goes really well with a simple lemon vinaigrette and some goat cheese thrown in.

    1. Sharon says:

      Oh, my goodness. I’ll use any excuse to eat goat cheese…

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