Radishes and What to Do with Them

5 from 13 votes
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What are radishes and how to use them – a simple guide. Including how to cut radishes, the best way to store them, and my top radish recipes to enjoy these crunchy, peppery, fresh root veggies!

A bunch of radishes

Spring is around the corner, bringing with it the prime season for asparagus, spring greens, and radishes. Whether tempted by a bunch of radishes at a local farmer’s market, grocery store or produce box, once they’re in your kitchen, it’s time to ponder what to do with radishes! Luckily, I’m here to provide some of my favorite radish recipes and uses.

This cruciferous vegetable is vibrant, crunchy, and peppery and comes in several unique shapes, colors (including red, purple, pink, white, yellow, and even black), and sizes. There are different varieties – from the common red radishes available year-round at the grocery store to interesting ones like watermelon radishes, French Breakfast, and Icicle radishes.

While raw radishes are popularly thrown into salads, sandwiches, and tacos, there’s no shortage of ways to prepare these fresh radishes in flavorful ways. Enjoy them pickled or turn to sweet and mellow cooked versions like roasted, grilled, or sautéed radishes. Plus, even the radish greens are edible and can be enjoyed in several ways.

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Benefits of Radishes

While the exact nutrients and benefits will vary between radish varieties, they’re generally packed with fiber and antioxidants and are a rich source of several micronutrients. These include Vitamin C, E, and K, potassium, calcium, and folate.

The radish benefits include maintaining gut health thanks to the fiber and immune system health thanks to vitamin C. Meanwhile, minerals like calcium and potassium help to protect bone and teeth health while lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. They are also natural antifungal and contain compounds that may enhance liver function.

What Do Radishes Taste Like

There are over 100 varieties of radishes that vary in flavor. Generally, raw radishes are crisp, peppery, and a little pungent. However, varieties range from mild and sweet to very spicy. Check out my post on the top 12 radish varieties for more information.

When cooked, the heat within the radishes is tamed, and they take on a softer texture, becoming potato-like but with a bit of “bite.”

What To Do With Radishes

Radishes are a versatile ingredient. When raw, they are great for adding a pop of color, crunch, and peppery flavor to:

  • Salads – including leafy green ones like shaved fennel salad, etc.
  • Grain salads and bowls, like bibimbap or sushi bowls.
  • Creamy avocado toast or crostini/bruschetta.
  • Tacos or nachos.
  • Sandwiches (like banh mi, chickpea or egg salad sandwich, etc.), burgers, and wraps.
  • Slaws and salsa.
  • Rice paper rolls.
  • Pasta and noodle bowls.
  • Crudites to dip into dips and on cheese boards/platters.

You can also enjoy them as a simple snack sprinkled with a little kosher salt/flaky sea salt. Alternatively, tame their heat and bring out their natural sweetness by cooking them – sautéed, roasted, grilled – there are plenty of options.

Keep reading for my top radish recipes and several bonus options for what to do with radishes.

How To Cut Radishes

When cutting radishes, first wash/scrub the roots well to rid them of dirt.

Then use a sharp knife to slice off the greens and tails (bottoms) and slice either in half, quarters, or thin slices (using a mandoline will help make them perfectly even in thickness).

Thinly sliced radish

How To Store Radishes

If the radishes come with the tops, the best way to store radishes is to remove the radish greens as soon as possible. They have a shorter shelf life and can cause the radishes to spoil sooner.

To store the greens, rinse them well, thoroughly dry them, wrap them in a paper towel, and store them in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 days.

Whole, unwashed radishes will store for 1-2 weeks when stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. Only wash them just before using them. Otherwise, they can go soft in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Radishes?

Yes, radishes will freeze well for up to 3 months. However, like other fresh produce, it’s important to blanch them beforehand to help preserve their texture and flavor.

  1. First, wash/scrub them well, trim the top and tails, and slice them into thin, even slices or quarters (this ensures they blanch evenly for the best flavor/texture preservation).
  2. Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (based on how thin the slices are).
  3. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath to halt the cooking process until cooled.
  4. Dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel, then spread across a tray in a single layer, not touching, and flash freeze until solid.
  5. Finally, transfer to a freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag.

Are Radish Greens Edible?

Radish greens are edible and can be cooked similarly to other leafy greens, like spinach and kale, helping reduce waste. Check out my guide to radish greens for more information and top recipes.

Radishes with their greens removed

Best Radish Recipes

Here are just a few of my favorite recipes with radishes, including raw and cooked versions.

Radish Salad

Make a quick, fresh radish salad (I make it with common red radishes) packed with crunch and creamy, fresh flavors. Refer to the recipe card below for the ingredient quantities.

  1. Trim and thinly slice the radish and cucumbers (using a mandoline is quick and makes even slices). Then chop the dill and mince the garlic.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream with garlic, dill, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss the sauce with the sliced radish and cucumber, and enjoy!

Roasted Radishes

Roasting radishes brings out their natural sweetness, helps mellow their peppery bite, and makes them wonderfully tender. You can roast them alone or alongside other root vegetables, like turnips, parsnips, carrots, etc. Check out my easy roasted radish recipe for the full method.

Enjoy the cooked radishes as a side dish, tossed into salad bowls, with grains, and more.

Roasted radishes in a tray
Roasted radishes

Sautéed Radishes

Like sautéed asparagus, sugar snap peas, and zucchini, making sautéed radishes (with olive oil or butter) is quick, simple, and a delicious side dish.

Pickled Radish

Maintain the crisp texture of this root vegetable by pickling daikon radishes in a simple vinegar pickling solution, perfect for adding crunch and tang to sandwiches and tacos. Check out my full recipe for pickled radishes for the full details.

Daikon pickled radish in a jar
Pickled daikon radish

Bonus Ideas For Radish Dishes

  • Toss them into stir-fries,
  • Boil/steam, then puree them to serve with proteins,
  • Puree into sauces and pureed soups,
  • Turn into radish fries,
  • Braising them in a flavorful liquid,
  • Add to soups, stews, and curries,
  • In quiches, tarts, and frittatas.

What To Serve With Radishes?

Radishes pair particularly well with other fresh, crisp ingredients like cucumber and apples, spring veggies like snow peas, corn, and asparagus, cabbage, citrus, and fresh herbs (like cilantro, mint, parsley, fresh tarragon, etc.).

They also pair well with eggs, feta cheese, and goat cheese; aromatics like garlic, shallots, and onions; white fish, salmon, and meats (like chicken/poultry, beef, and pork chops).

More Ingredient Guides

If you try any of these radish recipes, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Radish Salad

5 from 13 votes
By: Samira
Make a quick, fresh radish salad (I make it with common red radishes) packed with crunch and creamy, fresh flavors in just minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 
 

  • 16 oz radishes
  • 11 oz cucumber 1 large
  • 0.3 oz garlic 1 clove
  • 0.6 oz dill 1/2 cup chopped, or chives
  • 1 cup sour cream or natural yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions 

  • Trim and thinly slice the radish and cucumbers (using a mandoline is quick and makes even slices). Then chop the dill and mince the garlic.
    Steps for preparing radish salad
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream with the garlic, dill, and salt and pepper.
  • Toss the sauce with the sliced radish and cucumber, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Allow the flavors to meld: If you have time, prepare the sauce an hour or more in advance to allow the flavors time to meld for an enhanced overall radish salad.
  • Season to taste: Adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your liking. 
  • To maintain the best texture: Don’t let the assembled salad with dressing sit for too long. The veg will start releasing liquid and becoming “soggy” over time. 
Check the blog post for more ways to cook radishes.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Global
Shelf life: 1-2 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 1313mg, Potassium: 973mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1514IU, Vitamin C: 48mg, Calcium: 225mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 13 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. Tina S says:

    Dis you say copper? That’s good for u no less? Also I tried the vinegar salad with what I had but after sitting in the dressing the red color started to come off like dye almost? Is this normal & healthy or should I peel 1st? I assume vinegar did this. But another problem I’ve had is them stinking up rhe fridge & house when used raw in salads n things resembling something similar to the smell of hard boiled eggs when used in egg salad for example. Lol This is normal right or a sign some are going bad perhaps?!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Tina,
      Thanks for catching this. Radishes have high amounts of potassium, calcium, and folate, not copper. As for the red color, it is normal and not a cause for concern. For strong odor – it could happen due to sulfur compounds in radishes. But if the radishes are rinsed and stored properly in a loosely covered container, that should minimize the odor.

  2. Amber Beck says:

    Thank you! I grow a big garden and like to use the radishes as an edible cover crop throughout the year. I can only eat and give away so many! I love all of your ideas and different ways to use them! The rabbits really like the green tops.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment, Amber. Having lots of radishes throughout the year sounds amazing to me 🙂

    2. Tina says:

      5 stars
      I love all radish ideas cuz it’s literally the first but the only thing in my garden each year that grows like a weed everytime. Ive got sp many radishes I simply don’t know what to do with em all so this is quite awesome & helpful for me as u can imagjne. Fresh is always the best way to eat em with bunch of fresh herbs cucumbers n things impo. Love eating them cuz of their amazing crunch almost as much as they taste i think. Lol They’re AMAZING in red wine or white wine vinegarettes. Ty ty ty ♡♡♡♡♡

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Thanks so much for your comment, Tina 🙂

  3. Me says:

    Try radish sandwich with mild chili and black pepper with or without ketchup or pickle relish……

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.