Typical Mooli radish with long white cylindrical roots. Excellent flavour, use raw and grated for salads or in many hot dishes.
Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action.
Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines.
The Japanese radishes have higher concentrations of glucosinolate, a substance that acts against the thyroid gland. It is probably best to remove the skin.
Young flower clusters are edible raw or cooked. With a spicy flavour with a crisp pleasant texture, they are reported to make a nice addition to salads or can be used as a broccoli substitute.
Young leaves are edible raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste, and the texture is somewhat coarse. As long as they are young, they make an acceptable addition in small quantities to chopped salads and are a reasonable cooked green.
Root - raw or cooked. Crisp and juicy, they have a hot and spicy flavour and are a very popular addition to salads. The summer crops do not store well and should be used as soon as possible after harvesting. The winter varieties (including the Japanese forms) have much larger roots and often a milder flavour. These store well and can be either harvested in early winter for storage or be harvested as required through the winter.
Young seedpods - raw. Crisp and juicy with a mildly hot flavour. They must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous.