Celebrate Earth Day this year with Spring radishes.  They will add a flavor kick and nice color to springtime salads.  They are available in shades of red, pink, purple, white and black.  Spring radishes are also fast growers if you enjoy growing your own salads.  Some varieties are oval or globe-like in shape such as The Champion, Fuego, Cherry Belle, Easter Egg, Snow Belle, and Early Scarlet Globe radishes.  Other spring radishes can be long and cylindrical such as French Breakfast and White Icicle.

Make an Earth Day resolution to grow some of your own salad ingredients.  What could be more local than growing your own salad?

In addition to the varieties mentioned above — Burpee White, Plum Purple, and Cherry Queen Hybrid radishes are good growers.  If you don’t have the yard space, consider starting a container garden.  Radishes can be grown indoors or outdoors in 6-10” clay or plastic container where they receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day.  Radishes thrive in moist soil when planted in a potting mix versus regular garden soil.   Most spring radishes take 23 to 28 days to harvest. Summer varieties include French Breakfast and Icicle with similar harvest time frames. Spring and summer radishes should be harvested when the root is 1” in diameter.

Enjoy your radishes in a “Spring Asian Salad” —  mix leaves of  baby arugula with some fresh basil leaves, sugar snap peas, a handful of crunchy sesame sticks (in the bulk dried foods area of your Co-op), a generous grating of local goat Chevre from the Poplar Hill Creamery called “Minnesota Montrachet”,  and a drizzle of the New Salad Girl Organic Honey Ginger Dressing.

OR…..

Ravishing Radish Salad, page 21 Salad Days recipe book by Pam Powell, photo by Paul Markert

Pick up a copy of Pam Powell’s recipe book, Salad Days: Recipes for Delicious Organic Salads and Dressings for Every Season  (available online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble).  On page 21, you’ll find an amazing Ravishing Radish Salad with Chive and Cracked Pepper Vinaigrette that is pictured here.  If you don’t have time to make a dressing, simply substitute Salad Girl’s Organic Lemony Herb Dressing into the recipe.
Happy Salad Making !
www.organicgardening.com or www.gardenguides.com are great resources to start gardening!
Recipe tip by Pam Powell
Article and Photo of fresh radishes by Sarah Baron Sullivan,
Photograph taken at Whole Foods Market in St. Paul, MN