Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black Raddish.

I love trying new things. Even more, I love discovering foods that I didn't even know existed. Case in point: black radish. I was browsing around the produce section of the Big Carrot grocery store and remarking how much locally grown winter veg they had on hand when I noticed something called 'black radish'. How could I not buy it? Anyway, I got them home and had to look 'em up.

Unable to find anything from my own cooking library (which is admittedly, pretty extensive), I had to turn to my old  and slightly-less-reliable friend, Mr. Google. Here's what I found:

Black radish is sometimes called Spanish radish. They are winter vegetable, thus their French name of Gros Noir d'Hiver. Used mostly in Eastern European cooking (why they're called 'Spanish' is anyone's guess). Also, it's a very popular vegetable among those 'alternative medicine' and herby-hippy type web sites. Apparently this stuff is good for the liver. Well, I'm more interested in taste. These guys are hot---or at least much hotter than the typical red radish. There is an almost horseradish nose to them. The skin does not appear to be edible, so I peeled them. The flesh inside was a pale cream colour. I added it into my radish remoulade recipe, which includes celeriac and red radishes along with a piquant mustard and red wine vinegar dressing. Where the black radish lacked colour, it certainly added bite and flavour.

I can also envision grinding them up and pickling them in a little vinegar, sugar and salt: a slightly milder version of creamed horseradish and a great condiment for roast beef or pork belly. Awesome discovery.  

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