WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A WATERMELON RADISH?!?
The Watermelon radish is a member of the mustard family, which includes arugula, broccoli and turnips. The watermelon radish has an edible round white root with a green stem and leaves. The watermelon radish’s inside flesh is rimmed in white with a dark pink circular pattern, resembling a watermelon. The inside of the Watermelon radish is crisp and sweet, with a mild, peppery taste.
Growing watermelon radishes is as easy to grow as other radish varieties, and can be ordered through online seed catalogs. Watermelon radishes are available all year long, with a peak growing seasons in the spring and late fall. High temperatures and warm soil can have an effect on the radish’s flavor, making the fruit taste bitter.
The fruit, root and leaves of the watermelon radish provide an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients.
SELECTING AND SERVING
At the grocery store, you should select watermelon radishes that are firm, without bruises or cracks. Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. Cooking the watermelon radish will enhance its natural sweetness. This fruit’s vibrant color is perfect for topping salads and sandwiches.
PICKLED WATERMELON RADISHES RECIPE; yields 1 cup
- 1 to 2 watermelon radishes
- ½ cup of distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Thoroughly wash radishes, slice into ½ inch thick discs, and place into clean canning jar.
- In a medium saucepan, bring water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and peppercorns to boil. Simmer one minute. Pour hot liquid over radishes in canning jar.
- Let cool to room temperature, top with canning lid and store in the refrigerator.
The watermelon radish is a low maintenance, easy to grow plant. Only a basic level of care is required to ensure that the watermelon radish thrives. Taking care of your radish plant’s basic growing needs (soil, sun and water) will result in a strong plant that will make a vibrant and healthy addition to your summer recipes.
Author: Laurie B. Osgood Osgoodlb@ufl.edu
Laurie B. Osgood is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at the Gadsden County Extension office. You can contact her at: (850) 662-3287 http://gadsden.ifas.ufl.edu,