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Radishes are full of vitamins

In Italy, radishes are a vegetable that is often overlooked and eaten raw instead of being included in a variety of intricate cuisines. They are considerably more valued elsewhere, particularly in northern Europe. In any case, the major part of the radish that is eaten is the root, which might be sweet and soft instead of leathery and subtly bitter, depending on how ripe it is. The leaves are often used for decorative purposes, as they are pleasing to the eye. Radishes are harvested in late spring and summer, although greenhouse cultivation has made them available all year round.

Regarding their nutritional qualities, radishes are abundant in mineral salts and vitamins. They are very rich in iron, calcium, and group B vitamins, as well as vitamin C and potassium. Folic acid is also very present. Radishes are also considered “healing” vegetables and, in fact, help relieve cough symptoms. They are also moderately antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

The numerous varieties of radishes

There are numerous varieties of radishes, generally distinguished by the length of the cycle and, therefore, by the degree of ripeness. Here’s a quick overview.

  • Short cycle. They are harvested 3 weeks after sowing and are characterised by a marked crunchiness and a pleasantly full-bodied, sometimes bitter flavour.
  • Long cycle. The cycle lasts for about 6 months. They are very tender and sweet.
  • The cycle is longer and can last for three months. They are of considerable size, medium-crunch, and sweet.

A very versatile vegetable in the kitchen

Radish is a very versatile vegetable. In Italy, they are eaten raw, especially the summer varieties, or lightly seasoned. They are generally not regarded as a useful ingredient in cooking. However, radishes lend themselves to many recipes. Below, you will find a selection of recipes enhanced by the presence of this vegetable.

You will certainly find delicious appetisers that are also very creative, as they are the result of specific combinations (for example, mortadella). You will also find a certain variety of salads with “curious” combinations. Tartares—which view radish as a vegetable able to counterbalance the strong flavour of the marinated meat—are highly intriguing. And how about fish-based second courses (especially blue fish), complemented by a delectable bed of radishes and other vegetables? Put simply, you have an abundance of options!