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A radishing conversation with Local Roots NYC

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

On Sunday, I chatted to founder Wen-Jay Ying, founder of Local Roots NYC, a grass-roots CSA that delivers local, organic farm fresh foods to New Yorkers. Each week Local Roots members pick-up their shares at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Due to Covid-19 social distancing, pick up locations are currently only in the UES and Carroll Gardens. They are currently focusing on a delivery service to help people to stay at home.

For this week's Veggie Highlight, we spoke about winter-sweet radishes which are in this week's seasonal Veggie Bundle. Not only do these beauties add a pop of color to your meals, they're high in nutrients, including vitamin C (1/2 cup provides 14% of your daily intake), iron and magnesium. Here are some ideas that we discussed on how to use your radishes:

Load it up on pizza (or buttered bread) with a medley of other veggies.

Make Quick Refrigerator Pickles (recipe adapted from my cookbook "The Plantiful Plate":

Sliced radishes (and shredded carrots) to fill a 16 oz jar

1 cup (240ml) vinegar of choice – Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, white vinegar

1 cup (240ml) water

1 tsp salt

1 teaspoon spice of choice – Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, aleppo pepper, bay leaves, thyme, etc

1 tablespoon aromatics – Minced garlic, onions, lemon zest, etc

1 tablespoon sugar, optional

Make a brine in a small saucepan by bringing the vinegar, water, salt, spices, aromatics, and sugar (if using) When is comes to a boil, stir to ensure that the salt is dissolved. Pour it into the jar of sliced veggies. Allow to cool, close the jar and store in the fridge. These pickles can be eating right away and are great with salads, sandwiches, plain rice, and soba noodles. Use the brine for salad dressings, or reuse it to make more pickles. You can even use the brine to make a vegan "tuna".

Roast them, lightly oiled, in a 400°F (200°C) oven with a variety of vegetables (pictured here with carrots, purple carrots, and potato) I allowed the vegetables to cool slightly before tossing it with fresh dandelion greens for a Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad.

When fresh radishes come with leaves and stems, make sure to chop these off and enjoy the greens fresh in a salad or lightly sautéed with garlic and a pinch of salt. The roots store better without the greens in a cloth or silicone bag in your crisper drawer. When properly stored, radishes can last for over a month. You can also freeze them for future use, although they won't be as crisp, they would be perfect for stews.

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