This week you’ll be receiving a new vegetable in your share:

fresh harvest daikon radish

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.

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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. 

daikon in the ground before harvest

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. 

garlic field in the fall

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.

harvested veggies

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).

j veggies

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. 

j veggies on an angle

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.

pork sandwich with beet carrot and radish salad

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

Daikon, Beet, and Carrot Slaw
Serves 2
A tasty raw slaw combining daikon radish, beets, and carrots.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 8-inch daikon radish, peeled and julienned
  2. 2 medium-sized red beets, peeled and julienned
  3. 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and julienned
  4. 1 tsp sesame oil
  5. 2 tsp vegetable oil
  6. 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  7. 1 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the julienned daikon radish, beets, and carrots in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Thoroughly combine the sesame oil, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sea salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the vegetables.
  4. Cover the bowl and set aside for a least a half hour before serving.
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