Growing French Breakfast Radishes
Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus
Imagine a vegetable crop that’s handsome – with bright pink shoulders and shapely white tips –and that also provides a mild-flavored yet crispy breakfast treat.
That’s right! The French breakfast radish really is for eating at breakfast time. There are a
number of ways to prepare this treat, although the first step is growing the radishes themselves, which mature in just under four weeks from planting seed.
The sweet, juicy French breakfast radish has a great texture for slicing: creamy and strong at the same time. Some people butter up a slice of French bread and layer thin lices of the radish ontop. The final step is to lightly salt this delicacy.
Fresh breakfast radishes can also be prepared by practically poaching – that is, lightly simmering– slices of the radish in butter. Then simply place these enhanced radish slices on a piece of French bread.
The size of the French radish varies, often cited as anywhere from an inch or two long, to three or four inches; the shape is oblong, almost cylindrical, and the width is slightly under an inch.
Be sure when growing French breakfast radishes to pick them as soon as they attain this mature size. Although this radish is known to withstand hot weather and not become too tough or bitter, it is best to time plantings for a tender harvest.
Some gardeners and cooks like the French breakfast radish for the bright green tops. These leafy greens are good when steamed or braised. The vitamin content is high and there’s a lot of healthy dietary fiber.
In order to grow French breakfast radishes successfully in the home garden, prepare a bed that gets sun most of the day and that has loose, friable soil with plenty of organic material mixed in. That way, the developing roots don’t have to fight against dense clay soil or stones to form a pleasing, regular shape.
Always supply plenty of moisture when growing radishes of any kind. The rapidly growing roots do best when they don’t have alternating periods of drought and flood, but rather, even watering that can drain away and not pool up and cause rot.
Plant French breakfast radish seeds about ¼ or ½ inch deep, and half an inch apart. Once the radishes have sprouted, often in a week or less, keep an eye on them and thin the sprouting plants so there’s enough room for them to grow. The thinned out tops and roots are good, when rinsed,as toppings for soups and salads, or in sandwiches.