Radical Radishes

Radical Radishes

Radishes are an incredibly versatile vegetable that grows and stores throughout the year, especially in the seasons when offerings are limited here in Northern Wisconsin. Salad radishes are the first roots of spring and daikon and winter storage radishes last well into winter (much like carrots, potatoes and beets). 

CSA members can expect to receive salad radishes (aka red radishes or spring radishes) regularly in their spring and fall shares as well as about four times during summer shares (usually in the milder months of June and October). Typically, daikon radishes are included once in summer CSA boxes and twice in our fall shares. Market customers will see salad radishes most often in the spring and fall (April, May, June, October, and November) and have ample opportunity to purchase or try daikon radishes in the fall and winter.

What we grow 

We grow one main type of salad radish at our farm and it is a beautiful, crisp red variety. We don’t grow more diversity of small radishes because we have found this one to taste better than any of the other specialty types we have tried. These are mild and sweet in spring and fall, and spicy up as the weather gets hotter.

In the fall, we grow four different types of daikon/winter radishes including Bravo purple daikons (which have purple skin and flesh), Red King Daikon (which has red skin and white flesh), Alpine daikon (this one has white skin and white flesh), and watermelon radishes which have a pale green skin and bright pink flesh. All of our winter radishes start out spicier in early fall and get milder and sweeter in storage. 

Using greens

Whenever we send salad radishes, we try to include the greens (so long as they look good!). Though not a staple here, radish greens are eaten throughout the world. They are a bit fuzzy raw so we like them cooked or in a pesto. We’ve provided two radish-green specific recipes to get you started, but any recipe from our Greens Guide will work well for them too! 

Sauteed Radish Greens 

Recipe by Fork in the Road

Yield: 2 servings
Time: 20 minutes


4 cups radish greens, or amount from 1 bunch

4 whole garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pinch red pepper flakes, to taste

1 pinch salt


  1. Prepare radish greens: First cut greens from the radish root, then cut the stiff stems right under where the greens start to grow. Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and submerge radish stems for a few minutes, stirring or moving the leaves around with your hands to make sure as much dirt is removed as possible. Next, remove the leaves from the water and use a salad spinner to remove water and put into a bowl or lay flat to dry (about 15 minutes).
  2. Sauté the greens: To a medium pan heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and cook until it begins to brown and become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Next add the red pepper and cook about 20-30 seconds more, or until the pepper begins to release its color into the oil (do not overcook or the pepper will burn). Then add the radish greens and stir constantly until they are covered in oil and completely wilted and cooked down, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove to a plate and serve immediately.

Radish Green Pesto

Recipe by: Love & Lemons

Yield: 8 servings
Time: 5 minutes


1/2 cup pine nuts or pepitas

1 small garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup radish greens

1 cup basil

1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more if desired

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse until well chopped. Add the lemon juice and pulse again.
  2. Add the radish greens and basil and pulse until combined.
  3. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined. Add the Parmesan cheese, if using, and pulse briefly to combine. For a smoother pesto, add more olive oil.

Storage tips

Like we said before, salad radishes will frequently be given with their greens. The key to the best storage is to first remove the greens and store them separately. Both greens and roots can be placed in a plastic bag for best life (roots will last a couple of weeks and greens will last up to a week before getting slimy). 

Daikon and other winter radishes store much longer. They can be stored loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge for several weeks or in a plastic bag for much longer storage (several months!). They may get a bit soggy at the end of their life, but can still be shredded for use on salads or in dressing or fritters.

For all radishes, do not wash before storage as this will degrade their storage capacity. 

Long-term storage

Daikon and other winter radishes don’t need much done to them to store well throughout the winter, but more tender salad radishes don’t stay good quite as long. If you’re looking to extend their life, try these two techniques. They also happen to pack a great amount of flavor.

Picked radishes

There are a lot of ways to pickle a radish, but we tend to prefer quick pickles or fridge pickles. 

This quick pickled radish recipe is a sure winner: a little sweet, still very crunchy, they are a great meal finisher.

We also love these spicy quick pickled radishes from Cookie & Kate that store several months in the fridge. 

Wondering how to use pickled radishes? Honestly, they’re great on anything. They add a little sweetness, acidity and crunch to whatever you’re making (much like a pickled red onion would do). Put them on salads, grain bowls, noodle bowls, as a garnish on pretty much anything (especially heavy cuts of meat), or on burgers, sandwiches, or tacos. 

Radish relish

For those who have already mastered pickled radishes and are looking for another fun preservation idea, an Indian-style radish relish is a super fun alternative. It really complements the radishes’ spicy flavor and works great on the side of curries, masalas, or just rice as well as stirred into things like chicken salad or potato salad for a bit of an extra bite. 

We love the recipe provided by the Put ‘Em Up preservation book (which can be canned!).

Radish Relish

Recipe by: Put ‘Em Up

Yield: 4 cups

Time: 15 minutes (if storing in the fridge), 45 minutes (if canning)


2 cups distilled 

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon whole coriander

1 tablespoon cumin seed

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed

2 pounds radishes, shredded

1 cup diced onion

1 (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

  1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander, cumin seed, and mustard seed in a large non-reactive saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the radishes, onion, ginger, and garlic, and return to a boil, stirring to ensure that all ingredients are heated through. Remove from heat.

Ladle into bowls or jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Use the boiling water method. Ladle mixture into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, covering the solids by 1/4 inch with liquid. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Our favorite ways to eat radishes 

Radishes are one of those vegetables that always excites at the beginning of the season when it’s the first beautiful colored vegetable to arrive, but then gets a bit stale. People forget how wonderful and versatile radishes can be. Whether raw or cooked, we’ve got lots of great ideas for how you can enjoy them:

A few great radish recipes

Photo by: This Healthy Table

Rainbow Radish Salad

Recipe by: This Healthy Table

Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: 15 minutes


1 watermelon radish, sliced very thin

1 purple daikon radish, sliced very thin

1 green daikon radish, sliced very thin

4 small red radishes (or another of the radishes above), sliced very thin

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

2 ounces shaved parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons microgreens

Pinch black sesame seeds


  1. Toss all the sliced radishes with olive oil and flaky sea salt. Let them rest for 5 minutes to marinate.
  2. Arrange the radishes in a low serving bowl or large plate. Toss with the parmesan and then sprinkle the pistachios, microgreens, and sesame seeds on top.

Photo by: NYTimes Cooking

Roasted Radishes

Recipe by: Budget Bytes

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 50 minutes


2 pounds salad radishes

1.5 tablespoon olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Trim the stems or any extra long roots from the radishes. Rinse the radishes well in a colander.
  2. Slice the radishes in half and place them on a large baking sheet (line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired).
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the radishes, then add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the radishes until they’re coated in oil and seasoning.
  4. Transfer the seasoned radishes to the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and tender, stirring once halfway through. Total roasting time will depend on the size of your radishes.
  5. Taste the radishes and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking. Top with fresh chopped parsley for garnish, if desired.

You can serve them as they are right out of the oven, or make a meal out of them by adding to toasts as Melissa Clark does in the photo above.

Photo by: Little Sunny Kitchen

Daikon Radish Slaw

Recipe by: Little Sunny Kitchen

Yield: 8 servings
Time: 10 minutes


½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 minced garlic clove, optional

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 daikon, shredded

1 carrot, shredded

1 cup shredded cabbage

¼ cup chopped parsley


  1. To make the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, garlic if using, lemon juice and salt.
  2. Combine shredded daikon, carrot, cabbage and parsley together. Then add dressing and mix well.

Photo by: The Leek & The Carrot

Soba Noodle Bowl with Pork Meatballs

Recipe by: The Leek & The Carrot

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 55 minutes


3 scallions

7 garlic cloves, divided

1/2 cup raw packed greens (kale, spinach, cilantro, parsley, lots of things could work here)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 pound ground pork

3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 3 cups)

1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons Canola oil

1/2 pound Soba noodles

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1-inch turmeric, peeled and minced


  1. If using a food processor, cut the scallions into 2-inch chunks and toss into the bowl along with 4 of the peeled, whole garlic cloves, and raw greens. Process until everything is finely chopped. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice since there isn’t a ton in there. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork. Process until everything is well combined. If not using a food processor, mince the scallions, 4 peeled garlic cloves and raw greens, and toss into a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork and mix until smooth.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape pork mixture into 20-24 meatballs (a little smaller than golf-ball size) and place on parchment. Chill in the fridge or freezer (wherever you have room) for 15 minutes while you matchstick all your carrots and daikon.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron works great here)  over medium high heat. When it is just about smoking, add half of the chilled meatballs and reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning occasionally for about 10 minutes until well-browned on all sides. The oil may spit and splatter. This is a great time to use a grease guard or splatter screen if you have one. Repeat with second half of meatballs. You shouldn’t need to add any more oil for the second batch. When these are finished cooking, add already cooked meatballs to pan (it will be crowded) and place hot pan in oven to stay warm.
  4. Bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add soba noodles and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, prepare your sauce by mincing your remaining 3 garlic cloves and then adding maple syrup, tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and turmeric to a large bowl. Add cooked noodles, carrots and daikon. Toss with tongs to combine.
  6. Serve immediately with warm meatballs on top! Feel free to add extra hot sauce, microgreens or minced herbs as you like.

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