Introducing our first crop of Watermelon Radishes at Underwood Family Farms! Beauty is only skin deep? Nah. Not even. In fact, it’s the total opposite with this Brassica (mustard) tribe. The outside is not so attractive, but the flesh is filled with beautiful, bright circular hues of pink and magenta (hence the watermelon nickname).
An heirloom variety of the Chinese Daikon radish, AKA Shinrimei, Rooseheart or Red Meat, they contains the compound isothiocyanate (pronounced eys-so-thigh-o-sigh-an-ate) found in high concentration in all radishes and also present in all cruciferous vegetables. It’s what creates those peppery or hot notes in the flavor and some studies have shown this element is what helps our bodies fight off free radicals. Also, it’s a natural pest repellent, they don’t like isothiocynate either, which is why crop rotation is so important for sustainable growing practices and one reason why we grow so many radishes and other members of the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.).
Depending on when harvested, Watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to soft ball.
How to eat them? I still like raw the best, even not being a big radish fan you might find that these will lure your taste buds in a different direction. And don’t forget to eat the greens too – you can roast them with the radishes and some olive oil for a different twist.