Botanical name: Raphanus sativus
The Radish belongs to the Cruciferae family and there are several varieties that are distinguished by shape, size, color and flavor. The most common radish has a crunchy texture, the outer surface is red while the inside hides a white pulp.
Origins and history
This vegetable has been known since ancient times, just think that the ancient Egyptians already knew it and consumed it together with a garlic-based dressing. However, its origin is uncertain: it seems that it derives from "daikon", a root cultivated since time immemorial in Japan.
It is not known when and how this vegetable arrived in the West, but it is known with relative certainty that it was originally widespread in Japan, in China, in East Asia. China currently has the largest spread of radishes, and the largest crops.
Nutritional and beneficial properties of Radish
Radish has been known for its beneficial and phytotherapeutic properties for thousands of years. In fact, it seems that this vegetable has antispasmodic and antiseptic properties.
It is also known to be an excellent diuretic, to have purifying and even laxative properties (the latter property is limited to its seeds). Radish is still a stringent, was used to treat scurvy, has antitussive properties and is very useful for treating asthma, bronchitis and other ailments pulmonary.
Finally, the plant extracts are febrifugal and are indicated for treating skin ulcers. Furthermore, the antiscorbutic properties of radish are due to the presence of vitamin C and in particular of ascorbic acid and B vitamins. It also contains mineral salts, which the vegetable absorbs from the soil in which it is grown. Radish is made up of over 95% water and is extremely low-calorie: just think that one hundred grams of this food provide the human body with only 11 kg/cal.
Use of Radish in the kitchen
On our tables this vegetable can be seen often and at all times of the year. Westerners, in fact, love this product very much and consume it both as a side dish and as a main dish.
Radish is particularly appreciated for its crunchy texture, which can be increased by passing the product under cold water. The flavor is slightly spicy and sometimes pungent and bitter. In cooking, this vegetable is used in several ways. Many consume it raw, cutting it into thin slices and adding it to the salad to enrich the taste, and make it richer and more particular.
Its leaves can be boiled and seasoned with oil and salt. Radish can be cooked to make omelettes, or combined with fennel, carrots, celery and tomatoes to make the famous pinzimonio. Finally, it can often be found as a side dish, or simply as a decorative element in meat and fish dishes.
One of the tastiest recipes using this vegetable is apple sauce and radishes. To make this dish you only need: three green apples, 60 grams of radishes, half a glass of white wine, three tablespoons of orange juice, salt and pepper. The preparation is very simple and takes about twenty minutes. First you need to peel the apples, remove the core and put them to cook in a pan with orange juice and wine. After twenty minutes, mash the apples and purée them. Wash and clean the radishes, chop finely and add to the apples. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
Perhaps not many people know that the Daikon from which radish derives as we know it and which is also known as the "Chinese bird", can reach a weight of 50 kg. In short, a real giant of nature that reaches Guinness World Records size. Furthermore, few people know that radish is a fundamental ingredient of sashimi. Sashimi, raw fish cut in a particular way and codified by the Japanese tradition, is always served on the table seasoned with soy sauce and daikon braised in thin filaments. If you have never noticed it the next time you go to a Japanese restaurant, try to notice it.