Don’t Toss those Radish Greens.


It’s now June, the sun is warm and the garden is in. I thought I had the itch last year, ripping out spaces in the yard to add more life, but it must have been the tomatoes that inspired this year’s dig.

I live on your typical, smallish urban yard with a street out front and a patch of grass for sinking my toes into and a bit of Joneses decor. The house is west facing so I wake with the sun and enjoy the cool shade the houseprint leaves in the backyard during the afternoons. The only thing was the tomatoes weren’t loving the dark, temperate breezes. For those of you who have had the luck to enjoy a warm summer tomato, you will understand my next move.

As a late birthday gift to myself this spring, I shocked the next door neighbour and ordered a few loads of soil. With it’s blazing sunshine and ample room for my tomatoes, the front yard just had to go. As I poked and turned the earth, I found a new plot for my tomatoes and I was left with the cool spaces in the back garden. Room now for things I hadn’t grown before. Direct from Monticello, are the heirloom peas, a few rows red carrots, spinach, rocket and White Hailstone Radishes.

I’m not infatuated with radishes, especially the spicy, red and mealy grocery store variety I grew up on, but when they’re fresh, topping buttered bread with a little salt? Yum. With this little space and reading that radishes can grow from seed to harvest in about three weeks, I couldn’t resist to try. After a few days of rain, the row billowed and I could see the hail sized spheres pushing from the ground. I didn’t think I’d be able to eat that many tea sandwiches in one sitting, so after a nibble I snipped the tops and pickled the bottoms in a drowning of rice wine vinegar, salt and sugar. But, don’t any of you dare think that I’m going get my hands dirty, poke seeds into the ground, water and baby these tiny vegetables just to toss the tops. No, no.

I’d once read that, although most greens are discarded, they are mostly all edible. Radishes are no exception. Blessed with the spiciness of their in-ground counterparts, I figured they would be tasty in a quick sauté or a soup.

Unbelievably simple, this soup was amazingly tempting.

RADISH GREENS SOUP

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, finely chopped
2 Cups Radish Greens, roughly chopped, packed
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Fresh Chives for serving

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add finely diced shallots.
Sauté, stirring often, until shallots are soft and translucent.
Add the radish greens and wilt, then add the stock.
Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove from heat; purée with an immersion blender or in blender, in batches.
Top with with freshly chopped chives just prior to serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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~ by Dayna on June 9, 2009.

12 Responses to “Don’t Toss those Radish Greens.”

  1. Your photos looks lovely Dayna! I love that you grew these little fellas yourself. We too, might have to throw a few in the ground and enjoy some satisfaction from a quick growing veg.
    Thanks Cindy. I kept one of the plants hoping that I might get some seeds to start another row in the fall. I’ll have to pass some along to you if I get any. They’re a cinch to grow.

  2. Great post, your picture makes it looks very delicious. I ate a leaf from a red radish bunch and it was definitely a unique taste one could get used to.
    Thanks! I have to admit it took this long in my life to muster up the courage. Now I can’t believe I’ve been tossing them in the bin for all these years!

  3. I have an area out the back that mostly see’s shade and I never knew what to put there. You’ve definitely inspired me to get planting with some radishes though! I love radishes and the idea of the greens as well has my mouth watering!

    Wonderful soup :)

  4. Thanks so much for the recipe.
    I pulled out my radishes today and found I had very little root. Perhaps I don’t have a red or green thumb. Perhaps it has been too hot and I didn’t water profoundly enough. Needless to say, I only have tops and I was thinking, wouldn’t it be good if you could eat them too.
    I’m going to try your recipe.
    K

  5. Here I am reporting back after my experiment with radish greens soup. I think the addition of mint is just genius. It takes the soup from ordinary to marvelous.
    I generally chopped up the greens and stewed them, but I found that the stems were quite stringy and clogged up the blender. I wouldn’t put them in, another time.

    I put a bit of yogurt in to get the soup to marry a little better than I had achieved by blending alone. I had French Vanilla on hand, and it worked out quite nicely.
    Thanks for the recipe.
    K

  6. Doesn’t the sun rise in the east, and set in the west?

  7. new to this forum – wondering what to do with my radish greens and am thrilled to have a new recipe AND a new crop for next year – 3 weeks? That sounds like sci-fi. Looking forward to trying it.
    Thanks

  8. another one thanking you for your post. Just made soup with all the radish…great stuff. And to think I just planted them so my daughter could see some things growing.

  9. Loved this recipe. Simple. The only thing I added to it, to give it some more heat, was red pepper flakes, and to give it a bit more umph i added 2 cloves of garlic in the beginning as I sauteed shallots and red pepper flake in EVOO. At the end I julienned the radish I pulled from my garden as topper instead of chives, which I had but wanted to use the radishes asap.

    Cheers

  10. deli-sh. When I go to the farmers market, I often bring home beets or radishes and immediately wonder what to do with my greens so with a quick Google search up came your recipe. Fabulous! As I am just starting out on my blog adventure on word press. Please check out my blog at http://glamourgourmand.wordpress.com/
    Any tips appreciated!

  11. This soup looks excellent! I’ve got some radish greens I just picked from the garden to use up myself. I think I will try this soup tonight.

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