Watermelon Radish

>>  Friday, October 29, 2010

watermelon radish
I got a curious looking vegetable in my CSA boxshare today.

No, it's not a watermelon, though it looked so much like one I couldn't resist throwing some sesame seeds on it.

Hello watermelon radish!
watermelon radish
The watermelon radish is a winter radish that grows particularly well when the weather gets cooler. It's got a ton of alternate names, such as Beauty Heart, Rose Heart, Shinrimei, Misato, Asian Red Meat, or Xin Li Mei radish. It's an heirloom variety of the Chinese daikon.

From the outside it looks just like an ordinary turnip or radish. I thought nothing of it, until I cut it open.
watermelon radish
I was totally blown away by the gorgeous pink hues inside.
watermelon radish
It's crunchy, sweet, with just a hint of spice. One person described it tasting like jicama. It's a lot milder than a normal radish, and is surprisingly sweeter than you might expect. Frankly, I like it so much better than a normal radish. It tastes fantastic raw.
watermelon radish
Size-wise, it's slightly bigger than a normal radish. I think it would look absolutely gorgeous on top of salads, or even on its own, layered with other ingredients. You can pretty much cook it as you would a daikon, but keep in mind that heat will destroy some of the radish's vibrant colors.

Me, I'd much rather preserve that gorgeous pink interior and serve it raw. It's so nutritious this way, and I think it already tastes pretty good as is.

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