All these years of growing radishes and I’m just discovering German Giant Radishes and a simple salad made in Germany, “rettig salat”. You won’t believe that something this simple is so incredibly delicious! But first I’ll tell you about the radishes.
I discovered them quite by accident. They sounded interesting in one of the catalogs and I ordered. Actually I planted my English Breakfast radishes first, thinking they would be the best. Used most of those by the first of May, so I planted the German Giants.
(Radishes are easy to grow. Sow seed directly in garden about 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows or patches. Seeds usually germinate in about 1 week. You’ll have radishes in about 30 days.)
I sampled my first German Giant in June and wished I’d had an entire bed full.
This is a beautiful red radish that can get baseball-size and stay mild,sweet and crisp. Hard to believe? Well, it’s true! The biggest one I’ve had so far was about tennis ball size and the flesh was white, sweet and crisp; not woody or spongy like most varieties get when they get big.
You don’t have to wait for them to get big, but you sure get more bang for your buck that way —–and more fun too.
I read that in Germany these radishes are served on platters in pubs. They cut the 4 or 5 inch globes very thin. Add a little oil and red wine vinegar. A little salt and pepper and you won’t believe how great they are!
I served some to quests the other night as an accompaniment to mini-meatball appetizers. They made a hit and nothing was left over!
One note: If you make this “salad” a bit before serving be sure to keep it in a tightly covered dish (I use plastic wrap) in the frig because it has a pungent odor.
This year I’m planting a big fall crop. I’d love to have them on hand for entertaining around Thanksgiving. Henry Fields has them. Diane Seeds and Gardens Alive has organic seed. Why not order and give them a try. They’ll be a real conversation piece in addition to being delicious.
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