Wednesday, November 11, 2009


These are the first radishes from our winter garden, with a sprig of epazote in front.  Like the old gardeners recommend, I planted radishes and carrots in the same row, to mark the row since carrots take so much longer to come up, and they are coming up, their fern-like leaves so small and delicate next to the rowdy radishes.  These are d'Avignon (French breakfast) radishes, which have charmed me since I saw a picture in a French cookbook, years and years ago, of a slice of baguette spread with butter and topped with a layer of sliced radishes (maybe with a little coarse sea salt sprinkled on?).  They're so delicious, I'll have to plant more this weekend.  Even if I didn't like to eat them, I think I'd plant them just because they're so pretty!
      You can cook radish greens, too, just like any other green, or with another green.  They don't need to cook long and they have a mildly sharp, peppery flavor, not surprisingly.  I learned that from an old Adele Davis cookbook.  Wonder if her books are still in print?  I've tossed thinly sliced radish leaves into the water I was boiling for couscous, or into a stir-fry in the last couple of minutes.  Like all greens they cook down to much, much less than their original volume, but they add some vitamins and flavor, even if a bunch of radishes doesn't furnish enough greens for a real side dish.
     The epazote's gotten completely out of hand - again.  Even if I pulled it all up, there'd soon be more, since it reseeds itself so enthusiastically.  I'll cook some beans this weekend and use up some of it, though the conventional wisdom seems to be true, that if you eat beans fairly often, there's less of a problem with the, ah, anti-social qualities some people fear, and that a bit of epazote significantly reduces.

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