Radishes: How to choose and store


Markets are aswarm with radishes these days -- and for a very good reason: they’re among the fastest growing of all of the vegetables (as any veteran of elementary school science fairs can surely attest).

Radishes can go from seed to production in just over one month. While radishes used to come in only one color, red, there are many different varieties of radishes at markets now, including Icicle, which is pure white, Easter Egg, which is multicolored, and French Breakfast, which is white-tipped blushing to a deep pink at the stem.

But one of the best varieties is called Watermelon. It reverses the normal radish order of colors, with a creamy white peel covering an interior that is a pink so hot it is nearly purple. The flavor is just as compelling, a juicy crisp mixture of heat and sweet.


Radish varieties differ in how pungent they are -- Icicle and French Breakfast tend to be particularly sweet and mild. But also the same radish variety can differ depending on growing conditions -- irrigation tends to cool them, sulfurous soils tend to heat them. If you’re sensitive, taste before you buy.

Choosing: Check the tops first; they should be bright green and not at all wilted. The roots should be brightly colored and free from cracks and nicks. Give them a squeeze to make sure there’s no hollow or soft center.

Storing: Store radishes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, removing the tops if you’re not going to use them right away.