Try Something New: Learn How to Cook Radish (Leaves and All) (52 New Foods, Around the World Week 18) May 18 2013, 1 Comment

how to cook radish crunch a color

Grow a love of new foods from the ground up. Fresh from the garden, this week we try the often underappreciated radish (leaves and all).

A love of new foods starts in the garden. Our tiny kitchen garden has been a steadfast source of new food inspiration for our family. It’s where my daughter discovered that she likes cauliflower – raw more than cooked. It inspired both of my kids to try all sorts of leafy greens – from butter lettuce to baby kale. And this week, it invited them to try radishes (leaves and all).

radish leaves crunch a color

We’ve spotted radishes at the local market many times, with lackluster interest. But growing radishes changed our perspective. Sowing seeds, helping them grow, and thrilling in the pleasure of pulling those little pink buds straight from the ground changed our relationship with radish.

We started simply -- sampling radish in its raw form. My daughter, who tends toward artistry in her approach to foods of any kind, spent an unencumbered weekend morning gingerly slicing our fresh radish into delicate, wafer thin layers, creatively cutting them into fun shapes inspired by her favorite characters like Totoro, and artfully arranging her creations on a tiny tasting platter for everyone to enjoy.

how to cook radish raw crunch a color

how to cook radish raw 2 crunch a color

Then we moved to cooking. Drawing inspiration from Deborah Madison’s captivating new book, Vegetable Literacy, we gathered a few more ingredients from our garden and together we experimented with how to cook radish, ending in a lovely sautéed radish salad. This recipe is a wonderful example of how to use the whole plant – it incorporates the radish and its lovely dark green leaves, leaving nothing to waste.

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We plan to continue experimenting with other ways to try radish -- marinated with pomegranate molasses, tossed into a Mediterranean style salad with spinach, chickpeas and tomatoes, or nestled in a hummus-stuffed pita.

hummus pita with radish crunch a color

Sauteed Radish Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Crunch a Color points: 15 red, 15 green, 10 green

Inspired by Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy


3 to 4 small radishes, finely chopped
½ cup shelled peas
½ cup asparagus, sliced on a diagonal
A handful of radish leaves
Juice from ½ of a lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt to taste


1. Wash and prepare your vegetables. Gather as much as you can from your garden. Round out your recipe with fresh veggies from the farmers’ market.

2. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the asparagus and radishes. Simmer for about 3 minutes.  

how to cook radish leaves crunch a color

3. Add the peas and radish leaves. You can add a touch of water at this point if you need. Continue to simmer for another 2 minutes, or until the peas are bright green and the leaves are wilted. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt.

sauteed radish leaves 2 crunch a color

* Have you tried radish leaves? What other ways should we try radish? Share your ideas! 

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s post: Homemade Hummus.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at