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Incredibly enough, the radish is yet another member of the versatile Brassicae family (broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, et alia). The radish (Raphanus sativus) is an edible root vegetable that was domesticated in Europe in pre-Roman times. They are grown and consumed throughout the world. Radishes have numerous varieties, varying in size, color and duration of required cultivation time.

Broadly speaking, radishes can be categorized into four main types (summer, fall, winter, and spring) and a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, such as red, pink, white, gray-black or yellow radishes, with round or elongated roots that can grow longer than a parsnip. There are red globe radish, black radish, daikon radish, white icicle radish, and California mammoth white radish.

The descriptive Greek name of the genus Raphanus means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. Raphanistrum from the same Greek root is an old name once used for this genus. The common name "radish" is derived from Latin (Radix = root).

Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs provides approximately 20 calories, largely from carbohydrates.


Radishes can be added to vegetable juice to spice up the flavor a little. In this form, they can help clear your sinus cavities and soothe your sore throat. The vitamin C in radishes is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to have a positive effect on asthma symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Potassium can help lower your risk of kidney stones and strokes, and radishes along a diet high in other fruits and vegetables can significantly lower your risk of multiple sclerosis.

For extra crunch and bite, add sliced radishes to stir-fry's.

Stir chopped or sliced radishes into tuna, egg, potato or chicken salad.

Thinly sliced radishes make a tasty, fresh garnish sprinkled over New England clam chowder or other milk-based soups.

For an unusual vegetable side dish, sauté quartered radishes in butter until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; sprinkle with cracked black pepper.

Stir chopped radishes into plain yogurt or sour cream for a topping for baked potatoes or chili.

Bagels spread with cream cheese and sliced radishes make a quick appetizer or snack.

Roast radish halves brushed with oil at 450 deg. F for 15 minutes. Great with roast beef or chicken.

Fantastically Good Radish Dip from Farmgirl Fare  (a great site)