Radishes are a bit like pears. Either they don’t grow at all because the slugs get to them or they grow away happily and produce thousands of flowers and seeds, making the roots hard and woody. Like pears, which are always unripe or too ripe. Each year I manage to catch a few at the ‘just perfect’ stage but then they race away and flower and pod while I’m not looking.
Fortunately I know the solution: eat the seed pods. Radish seed pods are one of the world’s less well known delicacies. I usually eat them in salad. They taste a bit like mange tout peas but with a spicy radishy kick. Today I’ve tried something different. I’m making a batch of marrow chutney with one of my giant marrows:
I use a recipe from my trusty ‘Apple Book’. It uses lots of marrow and any spare apples. Last year I didn’t have any apples so used green plums instead after an entire branch broke off the plum tree. This year I’ve got four plums and lots of apples, so I’ve harvested a few of the amazing Howgate Wonder apples a little early.This year it is this tree that is threatening to collapse with the weight of fruit. So what about the radishes? Well I’ve thrown in some radish seed pods as well but we’ll have to wait a few months to find out if that worked.
Apple, Marrow and Ginger Chutney*
- 500g marrow, weighed after peeling and coring
- 500g onions chopped
- Ikg apples chopped (or green plums if you have a glut!)
- 1-2cm piece of root ginger
- slug of Green ginger wine
- tblsp of black peppercorns (and other spices as available, eg radish seed pods)
- 350ml malt vinegar
- 250g sugar
- Peel, core and chop all the vegetables.
- Simmer gently for about 10 mins with spices
- Add the vinegar and sugar and boil, stirring frequently until thick.
- Pour into warm sterilised jars.
- Keep for a couple of months before eating.
And in the mean time I’ll enjoy the amazing radish seed pods raw in salad.
*Adapted from Jane Simpson and Gill MacLennan (1984) The Apple Book