This week you’ll be receiving a new vegetable in your share:
Meet the daikon radish, the less attractive cousin of the lovely Valentine’s Day radish mix you’ve been receiving for the past few weeks.
Although the daikon doesn’t play a prominent role in American cuisine, it’s quite popular in Asian countries, such as China, Korea, Vietnam, and India, where the daikon is eaten pickled, stir-fried, and raw. In Japan, daikon radishes are produced more than any other vegetable.
In the United States, the daikon radish is used more commonly as a cover crop—or a crop used to protect and enrich the soil—than as an eaten commodity. For instance, on August 1, we planted a cover crop mix of daikon radishes, oats, and Canadian field peas in the garlic area in order to prepare the soil for our October garlic planting.
As a cover crop, daikons are known for breaking soil compaction layers and scavenging nitrogen. Truth be told, we (especially Dan) could talk for hours about the amazing abilities of the daikon as a cover crop, but I’m going to save that for another post and move along to helping you figure out how to eat this versatile root crop.
This week, I combined the radish with two other veggies in your share to make Daikon, Beet, and Carrot Slaw, a delicious complementary side to a sandwich or wrap.
Begin by removing the greens from the daikon, beets, and carrots. Set these aside for other recipes (beet greens and carrot tops for smoothies, daikon greens for stir-fry).
Next, peel and julienne the daikon, beets, and carrots. To julienne, begin by trimming the ends and sides of the vegetables to make four straight edges.
Next, cut each of the vegetables into 1/8-1/4 inch matchsticks. Set aside the peels and scraps to use in soups and stocks (or bring them along for our goats Basil and Jasper next time you visit the farm!).
Combine the julienned daikon, beets, and carrots in a bowl. Toss the vegetables with a dressing of sesame oil, vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, and sea salt. Cover the bowl and set aside for at least a half hour before eating.
When ready to eat, garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and pair with your favorite sandwich, such the pulled pork sandwich pictured above, made with pulled pork from DeMotte’s Bub’s BBQ—yum! You can also serve the slaw on top of—what else?—a bed of greens.
For the printable of this recipe, scroll down.
Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma