Veggie companion

Posted on 3 min read

If you are looking for a good companion – try radishes! Aside from being a crunchy, pungent ingredient in your salad, radishes are often used as a companion crop. In gardening and agriculture companion planting is planting different crops in proximity so that their beneficial features would have a cumulative effect on increasing overall productivity and yield.

Radishes are famous for their strong fragrance

It repels different bugs thus helping near crops to stay strong in the hard times of insects invasions. This plant is easy to grow and quick to harvest – that’s why they are a good choice for novice gardeners. 

Although many people rightfully assume that radishes are cultivated for their edible roots, the entire plant is edible. Yes, it means that you can (and surely should!) cook radish tops! Instead of throwing them away, try to incorporate them into sauces, soups, salads, or eat as a side dish. In its simplest form, radish leaves can be sauteed.

Step by step

  1. The first step would be cutting the leaves off of the roots, rinsing them and blotting dry. Give them a really good wash, because radishes grow in the soil, and debris or dirt can still be hiding on the leaves.
  2. Now it’s time to saute them.
    • Add some olive oil to a frying pan and set it over medium-high heat.
    • Add 2 cloves of finely minced garlic and fry it for 2 minutes, then add some chilli flakes to the pan and continue cooking to release the flavour.
    • Then in go the radish tops. Saute them until wilted – it’ll happen really soon, so watch closely.
    • Take them out, add some sesame seeds on top and it’s ready to be served!

However, radishes are often sold without the tops (what a pity!).

Roasted radishes

Roots can be of different colours: European red, Snow Belle, Plum Purple, Black Spanish – all these varieties speak for themselves. They can be eaten raw in salads, steamed or braised in low’n’slow dishes.

But we are here for the tasty and unusual recipes, aren’t we? And one of the uncommon ways to cook this taproot is to roast them. If you haven’t tried this before, then take this recommendation and turn it into something surprisingly delicious.

  1. Trim and halve 500 g of radishes.
  2. Combine with 1 tbsp of melted butter, season with salt and pepper and toss everything on a baking tray (do not overcrowd) and into the oven, preheated to 220˚C. Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway, then take them out.
  3. Add 2 cloves of finely minced garlic and pop the tray back to finish cooking, for another 5 minutes.

Cooked through radishes are very delicious with dipping sauces like spicy mayo, ranch, or a plain sour cream drizzled with some lemon and olive oil. They do taste sort of like potatoes, but not exactly, of course. Roasting makes them lose their pungency and sharpness, mellowing out the flavour. And the butter gives the mild, lush and sweet taste. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – you gotta love them!

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