Earlier this winter I pulled a few root veggies up and had no idea what they were. I am constantly planting seeds but I poorly document everything I plant. I have been more interested in getting the gardening space established and vegetables and fruits growing to keep the weeds under control. I thought I had planted radish from some seeds I had stored but then this white carrot looking root came popping out of the ground.
Someone suggested it was daikon but after doing a little more research I realized I was growing Icicle radish. I was a little disappointed at first. They are bitter raw and I had no idea what to do with them. I also have a garden full and they grow fast so I was worried I had wasted energy on a vegetable we would not use. I had cooked the first two I harvested in the crock pot with a whole chicken, wild rice, and collards and carrots from the garden. The icicle radish gave the dish a surprising mild peppery zing and was quite delicious. It's hard to describe their unique taste. It's not peppery tasting to the tongue but will leave your belly with a very refreshing "peppery" feeling after eating them.
Now I'm hooked on them! They only take up a small space in the garden, grow really quickly, have the texture of a potato, and require no maintenance. The greens are also very healthy, more than the radish actually, and taste great cooked. I'm sure there are many recipes online but I prefer the easy route of just sauteing them in a little olive oil or homemade chicken broth and salt. I chop up the radish and the greens into small bites and cook until the bitterness is gone. It can take about 15 minutes for them to get savory. The greens hold their bitterness a little longer but it does cook out. If I'm not sauteing with an onion or anything else I sometimes add a dab of molasses to help get rid of the bitterness. When cooking with other vegetables the molasses is not necessary. You will want to cut off any top portion of the radish that was exposed to sun and has turned green.
After sauteing I serve them up as a side dish. They are also great if you pour fresh eggs on top and pop in the oven. My next plan is to add them to beef stew since they have the nice texture of a potato but not all the calories. The possibilities are endless now that we have developed a taste for them!
I would love to hear how you cook up your icicle radish!