Friday, May 27, 2011


Spring continues to be wet, cold and windy. My tomato plants, which I hoped to plant this weekend, are huddled on the front step, toughening up as best they can while still being protected from the wind.

That is why it's very clear to me how important it is to like "cold weather" crops. I used to think I liked to eat everything, but that's really not true. When it comes to gardening, it turns out there are a lot of vegetables I'm suspicious of or not interested in eating. I've never been an eggplant fan. I don't think I've ever bought radishes, though I don't mind them on the salads my mother makes. It never occurs to me to eat celery. I won't go near a kohlrabi or daikon, based pretty much just on the way they smell. My only experience with beets was with pickled, canned beets.

This year, going on the idea that everything tastes better when grown in a garden than it does when bought in a produce department, I planted some radishes, two rows of beets and an empress eggplant (the smaller the better when it comes to eggplant).

Well, I can attest now to the radishes. They DO taste better from my garden than they do from the store. I planted a variety called Cherry Belle. I wondered how I would know it was time to harvest them.

It was easy to know because they poked their beautiful red heads out of the ground. When I pulled one out, it was perfectly round, perfectly red and about the size of a 25-cent gumball. 

I thought garden produce was supposed to be ugly!

The flavor is delicate and crisp. They are delicious raw and even better on a salad. Some went into the Asian noodle salad I made for the graduation party last weekend. I have seen on a Facebook friend's page that you can use them as a topping for pizza, which is intriguing. I only wish I'd planted more! I've started some more seeds, which popped up overnight through the soil, and have scattered them where there are small spaces in the raised beds.

Maybe I should put in another eggplant...

1 comment:

Mariterese said...

Great way to get the max of flavor from beets is to grate them after you have cooked and skinned them under cold water. Melt some butter in a frying or shallow pan and add the beets to heat through. They are actually sweet!