The diversity of radishes is remarkable, and a trip to the farmers’ market reveals their rainbow potential. In the spring and summer growing season, the spicy bulb can be found in shades of white, purple, pink, black, and green (the watermelon radish is pale green on the outside and a deep magenta within), and in shapes that range from stout and bulbous to long and thin like a delicate icicle. They also vary widely in heat, from mild and slightly sweet to almost painfully peppery.
The easiest thing to do with radishes is to take a baguette, spread it with good quality butter, and layer raw, thinly sliced radishes on top. Sprinkle with salt to taste and you’re done: it’s a surefire snack for yourself, or the easiest appetizer that you can serve at holiday parties. Or, just spread the butter and salt directly on the radishes themselves, eliminating the baguette altogether.
Or go beyond butter and use the vegetable in a myriad of raw or cooked dishes. Try radishes sliced or shredded into salads, fermented into pickles, or cooked into stews, soups, and braises—you can’t go wrong.
A creamy soft cheese spread flecked with dill, parsley, and chive.
Get the recipe for French Boursin Dip with Radishes »
Sprouts, Kohlrabi, and Beet Salad with Herbed Crème Fraîche Dressing
This simple garden salad sits on a milky bed of crumbled biezpiens, a soft, fresh cow’s-milk cheese omnipresent throughout Latvia. This recipe details how to make your own, but in its place you can substitute a well-drained ricotta or crumbled queso fresco.
Get the recipe for Cucumber and Radish Salad with Fresh Cheese »
This take on okroshka, a classic summer soup named after the Russian word kroshit, meaning “to crumble” uses tangy kefir or buttermilk as a base and is filled with heaps of torn fresh herbs. Grated horseradish and spicy mustard add a gentle backnote to the soup. If you can’t find quail eggs or don’t have the patience to peel them, hard-boil chicken eggs and cut them into quarters.
Get the recipe for Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs (Okroshka) »
Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Scallions, and Mint
Gribenes, the deeply-flavored result of cooking chicken skin and onions down in fat—a byproduct of rendering schmaltz—is perfect fodder for schmearing on this crostini from
Wise Sons Jewish delicatessen in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Shtetl Toast »
Carrot juice and white miso make a sweet umami dressing for jumbo prawns and a spicy slaw of radish and edamame in this recipe adapted from chef Ryan Edwards of
Appellation restaurant in Barossa, Australia. Get the recipe for Prawns with Edamame Slaw and Carrot Miso Sauce »
Radish and Cilantro Salad with Goat Cheese
These short ribs are brined, steam-roasted, and then seared, making the meat succulent and turning the peppercorn rub into a thick, spicy bark.
Get the recipe for Justin Smillie’s Peppercorn-Crusted Short Ribs with Lemon, Olives, and Radishes »
Raw asparagus, carrots, and radishes get tossed with fresh mint and vinegar in this bright and crunchy slaw.
Get the recipe for Asparagus Mint Slaw »
Fava beans add protein to this take on the Levantine bread salad from Australia-based chef Matt Wilkinson.
Get the recipe for Fava Bean, Herb, and Pomegranate Fattoush »
The small flap of meat between the chuck and the rib eye in Wagyu is called the
zabuton, meaning “cushion” in Japanese. Nicely marbled with intramuscular fat, the little-known cut—sometimes dubbed a Denver steak—is buttery and rich. Get the recipe for Braised Zabuton with Coffee Beans »
tres French to pair crisp, spicy radishes with softened, salted butter; a thin-sliced baguette is the perfect vehicle.
Dashi, an enhanced kelp stock with rich umami flavor, is a staple component of Japanese cooking; it has the remarkable effect of accentuating the flavors of anything cooked in it. Here, it adds depth to a pickle brine from award-winning cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo. We use radishes, but any sturdy vegetables, such as peppers, cauliflower, or onions, will do. Get the recipe for Vegetables Pickled in Kelp Vinegar »
Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna, and Snap Pea Salad
Crisp celery and radishes are lightly pickled in lemon juice in this salad from chef
Juan Pablo Mellado Arana of Las Cabras in Santiago, which makes a perfect addition to any heavy Chilean meal.
Ginger, lemongrass, and maple vinegar add a warm base note to this dish, which is packed with root vegetables, and topped with a crisp greens and a poached egg.
Crisp, spicy radishes get a dose of toasty warmth from sesame oil in this quick pickle, brightened with scallions and sesame seeds.
This citrusy radish salad also makes a cool, palate-cleansing side for whole grilled fish.
Open Faced Rye, Poached Red Snapper, Pickled Radish, and Salsa Verde Sandwich, Tasmania