I am in love with radishes at the moment. I bought these cute little Easter Egg radishes from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and planted them in the garden box with the carrots, miniature onions, and parsnips. This idea came from a really informative and inspiring book on container gardening by Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey called THE BOUNTIFUL CONTAINER.
The book is chock full of ideas for themed container-gardens along with recipes and basic know-how. The radish/carrot/parsnip idea came from the “A Kid’s Garden” theme. In this scheme, pots are planted in the spring with pansies, radishes, and carrots. The idea is that the pansies will be pretty while the veggies grow. The radishes mature quickly and keep the soil surface loose which helps the carrots, and by the time you pull the radishes, the carrots have space to develop. The authors also say to stick in a pumpkin seed or seedling in June…
Now, I have my pumpkins growing at the ends of my tomato hay-bales, so obviously I didn’t follow the scheme to the letter. My garden box has the radishes, carrots, parnips, onions, an eggplant, and a bright pink geranium instead of a pansy.
Soon after I planted this lovely box, torrential downpours swept through the land; I was afraid the teeny-tiny seeds would be swamped, flooded, pushed too far below the surface, or rotted. For a week or so I waited, hoping against hope that my seeds had managed to survive. Amazed one morning to see those evenly spaced rows of miniature seedlings, my heart rejoiced. The radishes emerged and burst into a growing green frenzy. Soon, I spotted color beneath the green just atop the soil. A week or so later, the colored stems began to swell into the cutest little Easter Egg-colored globes of peppery goodness.
I pulled the first purple-pink radish, sliced it thinly on top of the disappointing micro-greens (too micro!) and ate my miniature salad with a degree of satisfaction far out of proportion to the portion size.
The carrots and parsnips are holding their own as I gently harvest the rapidly-ripening radishes. If you are new to gardening or want to entice children to the joys of soil and seed, try some multi-colored, quick-growing, sow-easy-to-grow radishes. You really can’t mess them up, they provide practically instantaneous (for a garden) gratification, and add a nice little spicy crunch to your dinner salad.
Easy Button Pickled Radish Recipe
I am modifying a pickled radish recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website which has a bunch more radish recipes you might want to try. Really, it’s as hard to mess up quick pickles as it is to mess up growing radishes. These babies are the ultimate “Easy Buttons.”
1. A bunch of nice-looking, home-grown Easter Egg radishes, slice thin.
2. 1/4 red onion, slice thin.
3. Enough red-wine vinegar to cover veggies.
4. 2 teaspoons course-ground sea salt.
5. 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Mix everything in a bowl and let sit for 1/2 hour. Use right away or refrigerate for up to a day. Nice served with grilled turkey burgers or homemade veggie burgers and some new greens from your garden or the farmer’s market.