11.4.11 Tatsoi & watermelon radishes

The tatsoi we’ve been growing is part of a salad mix, but it’s always bullied the other greens, quickly overtaking them. This time, inspired by Daphne, I thinned everything else out and gave the tatsoi room to grow into the lush, wide rosettes they’re known for. I hadn’t realized these cold hardy gems are a kind of bok choy, and Daphne kindly offered a few suggestions for cooking them:

 “…my favorite way is to put it in chicken soup. All you need is stock flavored with a bit of soy sauce. Get it boiling. Put the leaves at the bottom of your soup bowl and pour the boiling liquid over them. They cook just about perfectly that way. I’ll put them in stirfries. And I also put them in scrambled eggs along with some onions and mushrooms.”

As for the watermelon radishes, we grow them as a storage crop. Originally from China, these can go by many names, including Roseheart, Beauty Heart, Red Meat, and Shinrimei radish. They’re part of the winter radish family and last forever (well, at least until spring). If nothing else, the color itself is pure happiness, especially come mid-winter. Here, I’ve shaved them thinly like a carpaccio, to pair up with some of Brookford Farm’s bread made from their own wheat.

Make sure to visit the weekly party featuring kitchen gardens around the world, hosted by Daphne’s Dandelions

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7 Responses to 11.4.11 Tatsoi & watermelon radishes

  1. Robin says:

    We just love Asian greens around here! Those radishes are so beautiful!

  2. kitsapfg says:

    Those watermelon radishes are just about the prettiest thing ever! So decorative! How do they taste?

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hello kitsapfg — the first thing they taught us in culinary school was that we eat with our eyes! I’ve been told these are especially appealing to kids, especially if they’re cut to look like little slices of watermelon. These are similar to daikon, a little spicy but milder and sweeter than regular radishes. They’re great in winter slaws, and go especially well in a salad that also has apples. They can be braised, roasted or mashed, but will lose their beautiful color. Mostly, we enjoy the crunching into them raw.

  3. Barbie says:

    I’ve been thinking about watermelon radishes but wonder what our heat here will do to their color. Daikons are doing really well here for me. That bread looks oh so good, too!

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hey, Barbie, if you can grow daikons, you should be able to do watermelon radishes also! These are full sized, about 3 inches across, but you can always harvest them smaller to avoid them getting too spicy or woody. The bread is from Sunnyfield Brick Oven Bakery in NH, they do magical things with the local whole wheat flour.

  4. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous radishes! It almost makes me want to grow some, but I don’t really eat radishes… But, wow, are they pretty.

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