Put the zing into spring with ravishing radishes

Radishes are great for a variety of dishes including this spaghetti
Radishes are great for a variety of dishes including this spaghetti
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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With their peppery taste and fresh crunchy texture, radishes make for a great snack or salad staple.

But the nutrient-rich favourites are more versatile than you’d think. As the spring vegetable’s season kicks in, website loveradish.co.uk is promoting a richness of recipes, including spaghetti with crab, lemon, chilli, parsley and radish shavings (recipe below).

Grower Ian Nelson, who own Sunnyfields Organic Farm in Southampton and makes deliveries in the Portsmouth area, says they are among the farm’s most popular products.

He recommends buying them in bunches, explaining: ‘Some people eat the leaves as well, others have the seeds in salads and things. They make a nice leafy veg because they’re from the same family as cabbages.

‘But even if you just want to eat the bulb. the leaves show you how fresh they are.’

Since ancient civilisation, people have been eating radishes. Traditionally they were eaten to stimulate the appetite and to prepare the palate for food, or as an accompaniment to drinks. They were usually served with salt for dipping, with or without brown bread and butter which is still one of the best ways to enjoy them.

Or you could include them in one of the website’s recipes.

Spaghetti with crab, lemon, chilli, parsley and radish shavings

Serves four

· Ingredients

500g dried spaghetti

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

150g white crab meat

50g brown crab meat

2 lemons, zested and juiced

1 large bunch of parsley, shredded

Sea salt and black pepper

50g French breakfast radishes very thinly sliced

· Method

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the packets instructions.

While you are waiting for the spaghetti to cook, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic, fennel seeds, and cook over a medium heat until the garlic starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the chilli, crab, lemon zest, juice and parsley.

Once the pasta is cooked drain thoroughly and then add to the pan with the crab sauce, season with sea salt and plenty of black pepper, mixing well. Dived between 4 warm bowls, sprinkle over the radishes and serve at once.

· Recipe from loveradish.co.uk