Black Spanish Radishes…a primer

I finished writing the newsletter, and didn’t mention the black radishes!  I figured they deserved some recognition, so here’s a tidbit about these spicy winter radishes.

Popular in Europe, the “Nero Tondo” black Spanish radishes are white on the inside and quite spicy.  The skin is tough, so it is recommended to peel it before eating.  They can get up to 4″ in diameter without being pithy.  Treat it like you would a turnip, roasting or baking it to reduce the spice and bring out the flavor.  Traditionally, these were grown to be stored over the winter, their spiciness reducing as the months passed and eaten when everything else from the root cellar was gone.

Here’s a couple of recipes I found to help you answer the question: “How do I eat it?”

Chips de Radis Noir

from http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2004/02/black_radish_chips.php

– 2 large black radishes
– olive oil
– balsamic vinegar
– salt, pepper
– piment d’espelette (optional, substitute red pepper flakes)

(Serves 4.)

Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Grease a baking dish (unless it is non-stick).

Wash and scrub the radishes. Peel them with a vegetable peeler, leaving half of the peel in stripes if desired. Slice the radishes thinly – very thin slices will be more chip-like, slightly thicker slices will be moister – and put the slices in the baking dish.

Pour a little olive oil, a little vinegar, sprinkle salt, pepper and piment d’espelette. Toss with a wooden spoon to coat. Pour and sprinkle more if necessary, until all the slices look comfortably dressed – but not drenched.

Put in the oven to bake for about 40 minutes, until the chips are golden and their edges start to crisp up. Serve warm, as an appetizer or a side.

And more at this website:

http://www.mariquita.com/recipes/black%20spanish%20radish.htm

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