Monday, June 2, 2014

More Radish Love. And Flowers.

Radish love.

I know I mentioned my radishes in the last post but I had to put up another photo of a bunch that I picked this evening after work because they are just so beautiful and vibrant! Who could possibly look at these and not smile?! 

I really think that radishes get a bad rap. They are often overlooked, or tossed casually into a salad that will be drowned in dressing. This evening my dad made an omelet for dinner with sauteed onions and radishes, herbs, and cheddar cheese and it was delicious! When radishes are cooked, even lightly, they really mellow out in the flavor department. People who don't enjoy the peppery bite of raw radishes might like them better if they try cooking them. 

The classic French style of eating radishes is on baguette with butter and salt. You can find a good recipe, in that vein, from Ina Garten

If you think radishes have had it bad, think of poor radish greens, so often altogether discarded when they too can (and should!) be enjoyed. There is a good collection of recipes using radish greens here. Personally, when I am cooking any other type of greens (kale, chard, dandelion greens, etc) I just mix the radish greens into the pot, add some olive oil and garlic, and call it good!

Aside from the aesthetic and culinary benefits of growing radishes I recently learned that radishes are high in Vitamin C. They also contain folate, riboflavin, copper, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and fiber. 

I think it is important to have color diversity in the vegetables that you consume. Broadening your color horizons will not only have a positive impact on your health (from the wide array of phytonutrients) but it will also make cooking more fun, experimental, and interactive! And if you can grow it yourself, that will just add to your appreciation for what you eat. My spring planting of radishes is almost ready to be fully harvested, which will make room for the crops of summer to mature. I plan on planting more radishes in late summer to harvest in the fall as bigger tubers that can be stored over winter.

Flowers in my garden.

People tend to either really like or dislike marigolds. I fall into the group that really likes them. I enjoy the different color combinations that they come in and I appreciate the fact that they deter nematodes that would otherwise attack my tomato plants!

Working at the plant nursery, Pink Grizzly, in Missoula, I soon came to favor verbena plants with their clusters of beautiful, delicate flowers. I made sure to plant some in my garden this year and they are looking nice and healthy. They are a cheerful sight in the morning.

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