Don’t Throw Away Your Radish Greens! On Second Thought… Maybe You Should.

I love radishes. Sometimes you can find them bagged, and without greens, but most of the time they’re piled up at the store, leaves and all. And most of the time I bring them home, chop off the greens, and throw the greens out. But not this time!

Radish greens are edible. I’ve known that for a while, but that hasn’t stopped me from throwing out the greens that I buy with my radishes.

I don’t know what inspired me this time to keep them. Perhaps it was guilt from throwing away perfectly good food, or maybe it was my curious nature – the same curious nature that compels me to buy things I’ve never heard of in the produce aisle and then figure out what to do with them.

Either way, I decided to keep these greens, and cook them up for lunch. I did nominal research. I figured they could be sautéed until soft and wilted, kind of like every other dark leafy green. So I made up a recipe as I went along.

The very first thing I did was wash the radish greens thoroughly. They were covered in dirt, and I didn’t want to eat any of that, so I put the salad spinner through its paces.

I diced some onion and started softening it in a skillet with some butter, along with a spoonful of minced garlic.

I added a handful of pecans, that I roughly chopped, because I like pecans and maybe a little crunch would go good in this dish?

Then I added the radish greens. Just like when you’re cooking down spinach or chard, at first the pile is huge, almost overflowing the skillet.

But it cooks down quickly, within minutes, down to a mere fraction of what it was.

I let these cook for a long time. The radish green leaves wilted quickly, but some of the stems were kind of thick, And I wanted to make sure they were tender.

I sampled a little bit at this point, and they were pretty tender, but not quite there yet. So let them go a few more minutes. I also noticed during the taste test that the greens were both spicy, like a radish is, and bitter. Very bitter. So I added a final ingredient to sweeten them up a little bit: A tablespoon of maple syrup. I knew the maple would go well with the pecans, and maple is a common flavor when you’re glazing other sorts of vegetables, like sweet potatoes and carrots, so I thought it was a smart choice.

The end result!

It looks pretty, but it didn’t taste great. Still bitter, and I probably should have left out the bigger stems.

Maybe I just don’t like the taste of radish greens. Maybe I should’ve done more recipe research. Maybe I shouldn’t have had the foolish confidence to think I could create something using a new ingredient as I went along.

Whatever the case, I’m now turned off on radish greens. It’s okay. There’s still plenty of healthy vegetables that I can eat, and do eat, regularly.

I share this post as proof that not all my experiments are successful. But it’s also a great example of my adventurous spirit, and even though this meal didn’t work out, I’m grateful for that adventurous spirit, because it has led me to discover all sorts of other things that I love. And finding new foods and keeping things fresh has been, and will continue to be, an instrumental part of my weight loss and maintenance journey.

Keep it up, David!

If you have ideas or links for how to cook radish greens better than I did, please share in the comment section!

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