Thursday, January 16, 2014

Black Spanish Radish

Whilst on a trip in Turkey my parents picked me up a packet of these black Spanish radishes. Having never tried them before, I decided to give them a go. I planted them at the very back of the kids’ garden – where they would be watered least. Despite my best efforts they grew so well that they started crowding out the spinach. Perhaps without much foresight I had the thought to actually pluck one of these little radishes out of the soil for a sample – what a mistake!

A Black Spanish radish with its friends growing against the wall

I shared some with my wife – who usually likes radishes. She was a bit taken back by the taste. The taste to me was intensely pungent, so I decided to try sautéing them in oil, then adding seasoning, then more seasoning. Unfortunately the seasoning didn’t help too much. Perhaps these radishes would be good pickled in heavy brine– so that all the taste is removed. 

Cutting up some Black Spanish Radishes for the taste test

Though I do enjoy most veggies I encounter, I have yet to come across a reliably sweet (and not spicy) radish. I almost wonder if this is a genetic trait that cannot be bred into radishes. In any case, the genetic trait of enjoying strong radishes failed to exhibit itself in my taste buds. With this said, I would highly suggest Spanish radishes to be used for one of the most essential components of a healthy garden: compost!

Sadly, sauteing this radish did nothing to change the taste. =(


  1. Have you tried roasting radishes? It completely removes the bite and they turn sweet with a nice texture. I had some black radishes from Tucson CSA last year and I'm pretty sure I ate them roasted, and did not find them to be strongly flavored at all. It's also a great way to eat a lot of radishes in one sitting, if you find yourself with an excess.

    1. Dear Maghan,
      Thank you so much for the comment! I will definitely give that a try. Radishes are so easy to grow and the Black Spanish Radishes grow so large that it is a pity to waste them. I was just in shock by how nice the plants and roots looked while how bad mine tasted. Everything else in that plot has been doing so well that I am certain that the taste had nothing to do with the soil.

      How did you prepare your radishes before roasting them?

  2. Just toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 450 F until they are done (Maybe 20 mins? Maybe less?) You can chop up other root veggies to roast along side. I just did a mix of turnips and radishes and the turnips were also excellent--and I'm usually not a huge fan of their pungent taste in other preparations. Good luck, and thanks for sharing all your garden insights!


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