I know, it’s probably weird. I had never bought radishes before. Is that weird? Do you buy radishes on the regular? I had never cooked with them before, until I recently picked some up at the farmers’ market. They are so adorable and healthy but I never think to incorporate them into my meal plans. Luckily. I had saved this one recipe that called for radishes for about 18 months. The magazine clipping was neatly tucked into my recipe binder and calling out to me for over a year. Consequently my desire to make Cuban black beans and rice was the impetus for my first radish purchase.
Radishes are members of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with broccoli, cabbage, kale and turnips. They are thought to have originated in China and were then brought to the Greek and Roman empires, where they were admired and used often. They were introduced to North America in the early to mid 1600’s. Today there are several different varieties, with the red or scarlet globe variety the most popular one in the United States.
Radishes are high in vitamin C and glucosinolates, which are compounds that act in the body to fight off carcinogens before they do damage to our cells. They are also a good source of potassium and water. Radishes aid in digestion because they are full of water and are considered an indigestible carbohydrate. They are popular among dieters because they give you the feeling of being full with a relatively low calorie content. Personally I just think they are crunchy and delicious. I wasn’t really a big fan before bringing them into my own kitchen, but now I am a believer.
I followed the recipe from Real Simple magazine for Cuban Black Beans and Rice almost exactly and this dish turned out to be quick, easy and very tasty. The only changes I made were substituting brown rice for white rice and adding a good amount of hot sauce (I blame Kyle for that habit).
I used the leftover radish pieces in a salad the next day and I tried slices in my veggie wrap later that week. I would like to try slices of fresh radish in a hot panini next time. And believe me – there will be a next time.
What ingredient have you been meaning to try? I challenge you to bring a new item that you have never bought before into your kitchen this week. Let me know how it goes!