Here is a fun vegetable to add to your cooking repertoire this year: watermelon radish. This intensely coloured root vegetable is a fun way to spice up your meals while adding a nutritional boost.
What Is Watermelon Radish?
Beige with hints of green on the outside, hot pink on the inside, watermelon radish is true to its name when it comes to appearance but not flavor.
Watermelon radish is an heirloom variety of daikon radish and a member of the mustard family.
This root vegetable originated in China where it is called Shinrimei (or Xin Li Mei). In the United States, watermelon radish also goes by the name Red Meat or Rooseheart radish.
What Does Watermelon Radish Taste Like?
Watermelon radishes are juicy, crunchy, slightly sweet but with a hint of peppery goodness. They are milder in flavor than the traditional red radish but much larger in size.
Consuming watermelon radish is a great way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals, as it is rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
This colourful vegetable is also a good source of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Another bonus? One cup contains just 16 calories.
Image via U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
How To Cook Watermelon Radish
Watermelon radish may be enjoyed raw, pickled, roasted and even added to vegetable soups. It is superb shaved onto salads and tossed with vinaigrette. Or sliced thinly and added to open-faced sandwiches for maximum impact. If you can’t handle its spicy flavour, then we recommend soaking halved radish bulbs in iced water for 20 minutes to retain the flavour but lessen the kick.
Try this easy recipe for herbed goat cheese tartines from Camille Styles:
Image via Camille Styles
A simple pickling in vinegar ensures you'll have watermelon radish available year-round. Here is an easy pickle recipe you can adapt to any vegetable.
Roasting mellows out its flavour but not its intense colour. Try this interesting recipe for watermelon radish chips from In Erika's Kitchen.
If learning how to prepare and cook root vegetables is on your culinary to-do-list then look no further than these delicious options. A classic vegetarian winter warmer, carrot and blue cheese gratin is packed with sweet and salty flavour. For a lighter alternative with a meaty richness, try turnip stew paired with apple and bacon.