Winter Radishes are My Bell Peppers

Winter Radishes

As much as I love vegetables, the crudite plate is the last place at a party to find me. Why are they always so disappointing? Squishy bell peppers, cherry tomatoes that look and taste like silicon, baby carrots that have the white, ashy sheen ET took on by the end of the movie. I’ll pass.

Winter radishes, however.

They crunch, they’re bright and fresh, and the flavors range from cool and sweet to crying heat. And then there’s the colors. Fuschia, avocado green, basic black, stark white, pale lavender. As we head off into deep winter, I have a physical need to look at saturated colors. Bright fabrics, stained glass windows, pictures of summertime, and winter radishes each have a place in the remedy.

Better still, winter radishes are a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They’re rich in vitamin C, which can help you fend off winter colds. Their high levels of a class of phytochemicals called glucosinolates are reported to have positive effects on certain types of cancers.

Some experiments seem to show that other phytonutrients called I3C and DIM (di-indole methane) have been positive specifically for prevention of breast cancers.

New Year’s Eve Crudite Plate with Winter Radishes + Green Salt

Rinse an assortment of winter radishes, and cut them prettily in a variety of shapes. If you don’t wish to dip them in anything, just sprinkle the radishes with Green Salt about a half hour before serving. (If you do it any further ahead than that, the colors will start to run.)

Serve with hummus, a yogurt-dill dressing, or as is.

Black Radish Slaw

1 lb black radishes, shredded (skins on)

1/2 cup mild, neutral oil (such as sunflower oil)

1/2 teaspoon Green Salt (or any salt)

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

a few dashes toasted sesame vinegar

Combine and toss all the ingredients, and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes or more before serving.