Monday, November 22, 2010

That Radish Is a Watermelon!

As I wrote in my last post, this past Saturday we visited the final Farmers' Market of the season in the town near Darlington House.  Included in the baskets of produce and foods that we came home with was an usually big, pale green radish that the farmer who sold it to Reggie called a Watermelon Radish.

The radish was much larger than the typical red-skinned radish one sees in a grocery store, measuring a full three and a quarter inches across.  The farmer said that it is called a Watermelon Radish because its flesh is a lovely hot pink, like the flesh of the fruit after which it is named.  She also said that it was a mild variety, best eaten raw and with a bit of salt.

When I sliced open the radish I was delighted to find the flesh as the farmer had described it: a rich, rosy pink, reminiscent of the flesh of a watermelon.

And it had a delicate, mild flavor to it, too, with only a hint of the pepperiness one associates with radishes.  Sprinkled with fleur de sel, it was wonderfully delicious.

Tell me, have you--like Reggie--been recently introduced to an heirloom variety fruit or vegetable for the first time?  If so, which one was it?

All photographs by Boy Fenwick


  1. ooh. I might have just looked at that and never bitten in.

  2. Reggie, this looks delightful, and I would love to try it.


    Art by Karena

  3. I think that may be the very prettiest radish I've ever seen! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Radish, salt, brown bread and butter and you have the perfect breakfast for a contemplative morning. Also, beautiful photographs, especially the third. Mouthwatering!

  5. I have, indeed, been introduced to something new. Last December, actually, and we played a guessing game with it. It is yellow and large like a melon and looks like an octopus. It is a lemon called Buddha's Fingers that I discovered at a Whole Foods in our area. Quite a conversation piece, I might add, and a great lemon flavor.

    Your radish is quite ravishing!

  6. That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

  7. That is one amazing radish! In the last photo, it looks more like a jewel, than a food.

  8. Oh my, what stunning photos. How incredible that something so beautiful actually grows in the earth. Nature never ceases to amaze!


  9. Dear Mr. Darling,

    Excellent question, and a timely one for me. Not sure if it is considered an heirloom variety, but last week I sampled a fruit I was unaware existed (and I always gave myself credit for having quite a broad knowledge of unusual fruits and vegetables). I would not
    recommend this jewel-like fruit as an eating fruit, however, but do think it worthy as an excellent acidic component of a salad dressing (just add the tart juice to a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper and there you have it). Have you ever heard of a Calamondin? This particular fruit came from a work colleague's orchard and I was delighted to have been the recipient of her generosity (a little bag full of the fruits, and some Fuyu Persimmons, were left at my desk).

    Oh, and I agree, a Watermelon Radish is a delightful vegetable that I love to thinly shave and include in salads when available. The "crunch" reminds me of a Jicama with more of a bite to it. Beautiful photographs Mr. Darling. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Blue: Such a breakfast is, indeed, Heaven!

    Lifeonthecuff: Thank you, I shall have to look in to such a fruit.

    LizaE: I am not familiar with what you describe. And Reggie is pleased that you, also, know Watermelon Radish. Aren't they divine?

  11. Breathtakingly beautiful, inside outside all the way around top to bottom. I hope you got more than one. I wish I had a plateful of sliced medallions right now.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful radish and photos! One of my favorite Farmer's Market finds this season was Siberian Kale... not nearly as pretty as the Watermelon Radish but delicious, eaten raw in salads!

  13. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    Absolutely delightful.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  14. Dear Reggie, That is, the most beautiful radish. I had a discovery this summer growing tomatos (or is it spelled tomatoes) anyway. I grew a varity called Lemon Boy. A yellow- orange colored medium size beauty that produced and produced, until this very week. The best tasting tomato in the world. Take care and please enjoy your Thanksgiving where ever you may be.

  15. Sloes! On my recent trip on a narrowboat hotel through the English countryside, one of my fellow travellers picked sloes by the side of the canal and we made sloe gin. Fill the bottle half full with sloes, cover with sugar, fill to top with gin. Shake a couple of times a day until all the sugar is dissolved and then put the bottle away for a couple of months. Decant and strain into another bottle. It is a dramatic pink and fairly lethal.
    Due to a lack of sloes in Richmond, I am making cranberry gin instead.
    xox Camilla

  16. We've own just met, but Reggie may I call you Darling? Your radishes look ravishing.

  17. That is a work of art, truly it is. And also an awesome candidate for our "Pretty in Pink & Green" if we may borrow it some time, with attribution and linkage, of course.

    It does look like a jewel. And a piece of candy. Wow.

  18. I adre those watermelon radishes. Such a springy addition to a winter salad.

  19. Obsessed with those colors! What fabulous inspiration!

    E + J


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