Salads, soups and more great recipes for radishes, now in season

A variety of radishes found at a produce stand.
(Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

What’s in season: Generally in season from late winter through the spring months, radishes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from massive white daikon to smaller, sweet icicle roots, peppery black radishes (dark-skinned with white interiors) to mild French breakfast radishes (crimson with white tips), even watermelon radishes with pale green skin and vibrant pink interiors. Radishes take their name from the Latin word radix, meaning “root.” Known for their peppery notes, the vegetables are the edible roots of plants in the mustard family.

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What to cook: Radishes are most often used raw, thinly sliced as a garnish. They are also used to give color and crunch to salads or as a topping on any of a variety of toasts you can find around town. But the roots are wonderful cooked too. Dice or grate radishes to add to a soup or stew, or braise with a medley of other vegetables for a colorful vegetarian main dish. Pickle the roots, or shred and add to sandwiches or pupusas.

What’s on the horizon: We have the recent rains to thank for the bunches of stinging nettles now showing up. And beyond winter greens, specialty lettuces and delicate greens are turning up as well.