Table Radish or Small Radish

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By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

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Also spring or summer radish, European radish

Bright and pretty, small table radishes, whether round, olive-shape, oblong, or icicle-type, are the most popular and most common group of radishes in this country today. They are also the most recent arrivals, because large winter keepers were the favorites until the 20th century.

Called “spring radishes” in horticultural terms, these politely petite snowy white, pale rose, lavender, or brilliant crimson radishes are ideal for raw vegetable platters, salads, and garnishes. Perhaps the best known of these are the popular Cherry Belle and its numerous round, all-red look-alikes. Then there is Easter Egg— not a single radish, but the group term for a selection of small white, purple, pink, and red radishes grown as a market bouquet. French Breakfast types are white-tipped oblongs with rosy shoulders and short, pert leaves meant to be nibbled along with the root. (“Breakfast”? I don’t know of radishes as breakfast food in France—although they are in Japan. However, in Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, William Woys Weaver mentions “many old Pennsylvania Dutch relatives who lament the fact that people had stopped serving radishes for breakfast.”)