Radish and Horseradish

Before I begin my discussion on radish and horseradish, I just wanted to vent a little on best laid plans and distraction.  I remember when I was a little girl, just as the family was finishing supper on a summer evening, my mother would look over at the stove and say “Oh, we have corn.”  She would cook a big pot of nice, fresh corn on the cob and almost always forget to serve it until we had finished dinner.  Of course, we’d all help ourselves to an ear or two of corn and skip desert.

I remember being amazed that she could forget there was a huge pot of corn on the stove…it wasn’t something that could easily be overlooked.  And now I’m doing the same thing.  For me it’s avocado, not corn. 

I bought an avocado a few days ago.  It was hard and I left it out on the counter to ripen.  The day before yesterday was the day.  It had reached its peak of perfection and had to be consumed.  I planned a shrimp salad plate with the avocado, cucumber, grape tomatoes, radish, scallions and kalamata olives.  The avocado was right there on the counter next to the cutting board as I assembled my salad.  I drizzled homemade buttermilk herb dressing over the top and carefully arranged the olives on the plate.  A thing of beauty it was.  And delicious too!

The next morning I went into the kitchen to make coffee and spy there on the counter the avocado.  That beautiful avocado that had reached perfection the day before.  How could I have forgotten to include it in the salad?  It was right there in front of me as I worked.  All I could imagine was that I was so involved with assembling the ingredients of the salad to look appealing that I was distracted and forgot to include it.  And I remembered my mother and the corn.  Completely understandable now.

So I assembled another salad tonight and this time the avocado was included…but it was one day past its prime.  Not bad, but could have been better.  So now let’s get into radish and horseradish. 

I thought for sure the hot spicy horseradish root and the familiar red radish were from the same species but they are not.  They are part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables and they are both roots, however they are different species.

Radish

Radish

The following was taken from http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/is-horseradish-a-radish.html

“Armoracia rusticana is the scientific name for horseradish while the common radish is known as Raphanus sativus.

“One thing they do have in common is that both vegetables are usually used just for their roots, when in fact the leaves of both radishes and horseradish are edible. Also, horseradish has a similar appearance to one variety of radish, the Daikon (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus). which is a long, white carrot-shaped radish.

“Both radishes and horseradish have loads of great health benefits, just like other members in the Brassicaceae group like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. For instance, they all contain sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound exclusive to this family of vegetables. Both radishes and horseradish are good sources of sulforaphane (though broccoli sprouts contain the highest levels of the compound.”

To me, there is something definitely “summer” about the red radish.  That crisp, hot and spicy flavor of a freshly picked radish is without compare.  Pefect just as is.

Coleslaw With Radish

Coleslaw With Radish

But it’s also perfect sprinkled on salads and added to coleslaw.

Brown Rice, Black Bean and Radish Salad with Creamy Garlic Buttermilk Dressing

Brown Rice, Black Bean and Radish Salad with Creamy Garlic Buttermilk Dressing

Years ago my sister Mary gave my mother a recipe for Creamy Garlic Rice and Black Beans With Peas and Radishes.  I have the recipe now and somehow the bottom part of the recipe got torn off.  So I improvise the end part and it turns out great. 

Creamy Garlic Rice and Black Beans With Green Peas and Radishes

Creamy Garlic Dressing:

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon Digon style mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper (I use cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Rice Mixture:

1 1/3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 can (13 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 pounds fresh peas, shelled or 1 package (10 oz) frozen, cooked and drained
1 cup sliced radishes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon pepper (I use cayenne)

Prepare Creamy Garlic Dressing:  Combine buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic mustard, pepper, salt and sugar in small bowl.  Refrigerate, covered.  I added a dash of apple cider vinegar too.

Prepare Rice Mixture:  Bring chicken broth to bo iling in saucepan over high heat.  Stir in rice.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.  Transfer to serving bowl.

And this is where my recipe is cut off.  I would assume that you simply add the rest of the rice mixture ingredients (beans, peas, radishes, salt and pepper) and toss and then add the garlic dressing and combine. 

When I make this recipe now (and I make it often as rice and beans together are a perfect combination of starch and protein (see my post on “Food Combining”) plus this recipe is delicious and wonderful for a hot summer night’s dinner) I leave out the peas and add several chopped scallions.

Gold's Prepared Horse Radish
Gold’s Prepared Horse Radish

About the only time I had horseradish growing up was at Christmas.  Being Slovak, we had a traditional Christmas breakfast.  We had, among other things, fresh kielbasa (not smoked) that was slowly cooked in a big cast iron skillet until brown and crispy on the outside.  You’d have a link or two of this kielbasa and a healthy dollop of prepared horseradish (like the Gold’s brand shown here).  If that horseradish was good and fresh, you’d feel like your head was going to explode, your eyes would water and your nose would burn.  Ah, what a feeling….marvelous!

But since that time, I’ve come to learn that horseradish is essential for a good Bloody or Virgin Mary.  And of course cocktail sauce is really just glorified ketchup without a liberal amount of horseradish added in.  And horseradish added to sour cream makes a wonderful sauce for beef or baked salmon.  This sauce is good for dipping crudite as well.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

Combine the two and add a little salt / pepper to taste.  If serving with salmon or other fish, I add some chopped fresh dill. 

Cottage Cheese & Horseradish with Raw Vegetables

Cottage Cheese & Horseradish with Raw Vegetables

For lunch I frequently have fresh vegetables with cottage cheese with some horseradish mixed in.  This is also good with cocktails.  I love serving radishes and scallions with this horseradish/cottage cheese combo.  Radishes and scallions have their own spicy heat which works well with the coolness of the cottage cheese and spicy kick of the horseradish.  This cottage cheese mixture also works well on nice crispy crackers.

And, wonder of wonders, for some strange reason, 1 teaspoon of horseradish has no calories.  Honestly, I don’t know how that can be, but here is the label from the Gold’s  bottle:

Calories 0

Calories 0

So eat up!

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