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The Watermelon radish is made up of an edible globular root attached to thin stems and wavy green leaves. Its exterior is creamy white in color with pale green shoulders, a sign of the chlorophyl it received from exposure to the sun. The Watermelon radish's flesh is white closest to the exterior becoming bright circular striations of pink and magenta. Hence the watermelon reference. Its flesh is tender crisp, succulent and firm. Its flavor is mild, only slightly peppery with almond-sweet notes. Depending on when harvested, Watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to soft ball.
Watermelon Radishes are available late fall through winter.
The Watermelon radish, given name Shinrimei, AKA Rooseheart and Red Meat, is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish. It is a member of the Brassica (mustard) family along with arugula, broccoli and turnips. The Watermelon radish shares the same attribute with all radishes, it contains isothiocyanate, a pungent chemical compound that when isolated makes an organic pesticide. Often radish crops (along with other Brassica plants) release these compounds which are toxic to pests, weeds and soil born-pathogens.
Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. They pair well with fennel, apple, cheeses such as feta and chèvre, butter, creamy based dressings, vinaigrettes, bacon, white fish, cucumbers, mild salad greens, cooked eggs, noodles such as soba and udon, citrus, cilantro, mint and tarragon.
Watermelon radishes are a cool season crop preferring soil temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Overly warm soil temperatures affect the radish's flavor, turning a mild pepper flavor often into a bitter sting.
Recipes that include Watermelon Radish. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cook Republic||Rainbow Radish And Purple Kale Salad|
|Mango Tomato||Mango,Watermelon Radish & Cucumber Salsa|
|Give It Some Thyme||Winter Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette|