Spring is upon us this week, and spring holidays are on its heels: March Madness, Spring Break, and Easter. In preparation for this trio of high holidays, and in honor of the days being longer than the nights (finally: that happened this week, according to Portland weather maestro Matt Zaffino), let’s celebrate.
Knowing that Easter is for some of us “the chocolate holiday,” why not switch it up this year by starting the celebrations with an ironic, unexpectedly healthy and beautiful Easter treat: the Easter egg Radish. These are early spring radishes that come in lovely colors – lovely enough to use in a centerpiece, even, though that doesn’t mean you won’t also want to eat them. They have a pleasingly peppery, crisp taste. And anyway, there’s plenty of time for chocolate later this month.
Early spring arrival, small size and bright hue (out of this world pink, red, purple and white) set Easter egg radishes apart from their common siblings, but they’re related to turnips and horseradishes. They pack a lot of Vitamin C, potassium and fiber into their pretty packages. And since they’re cruciferous vegetables, their greens are great to eat too, though like other bitter greens, you’ll want to cook them first. The radish “eggs” themselves need no cooking. Their crisp, light bite shines when they’re raw and simply grated or chopped into a salad. Another classic preparation is to serve them raw with high quality butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
A not so classic preparation is to incorporate Easter egg radishes into an otherwise floral, inedible centerpiece. Check out Alexa Holt's DIY project. And look for Easter egg radishes at the big, celebratory Saturday Portland Farmers Market, which opened up for fuller hours as of this past weekend. (Read Eat Beat's news of new vendors.)