round black Spanish radish

Harvests, Root Vegetables

two black radishes black radish seed packet
black radish martini black radish slices

black radish on salad
Last year I bought some radish seeds called a round black Spanish. Well, they didn’t even sprout for me, but I’ll try again this year and give them more sun. In the mean time, I was surprised to come across the same radish in my local supermarket. It was grown in Vermont.

It turns out that the round black Spanish radish is a nearly forgotten vegetable. It is quite bitter when eaten fresh, but is a good keeper and mellows with time. I was a bit hesitant to try it, but I found it delicious! A nice sweet taste and definitely lots of radish flavor.

I’m finding these days that my tastes have become quite seasonal. I like the taste of summer vegetables in the summer and winter vegetables in the winter. The round black Spanish radish is a nice winter vegetable – perfect for this time of year. I put it on a green salad with apples and onions. Also, not bad in a martini, though this may be an acquired taste. I like the icy white look of the rolled radish and cocktail onions.

Topic: martini!

radish (Raphanus sativus)

10 Comments. Leave new

  • If you’re gonna eat a radish, it might at well be in a martini, I always say.


    Robin at Bumblebee

    Hugs to Skippy. Adorable.

  • I’m with you when it comes to eating in season. Many people plant their gardens for the purpose of processing and storing. Others go to great lengths to extend the season by starting plants very early indoors or make extensive use of cold frames or greenhouses.

    For me, all these things have their place. I dry and freeze my extras and I’m starting to experiment with and use a greenhouse more this year than in the past. I also grow dry beans and peas, and recently potatoes, to eat through the winter.

    Above all, the most exciting thing is eating the first fresh tomato of the year, new potatoes, asparagus in the spring, winter cabbages and brussel sprouts, winter citrus, early beets and beet greens. For me all these things as they come into season are the best part of any garden or even the vegetables I buy.

    By the time all of these vegetables go out of season I’ve probably eaten them to the point of being sick of them, I’m ready to wait until they are in season again and ready to move on to the next seasonal vegetable.

  • We planted Black Spanish Radishes last summer. We found we didn’t like the taste of them at all. I ended up letting them go to seed, and they’re still flowering, through frost and freeze! They attract all sorts of insects – I was planning to plant more of them this year just to continue attracting insects.

    I had no idea they would sweeten with age. I’ll try that. Our favorite thus far remains the English Breakfast Radish.

    I’m with you on having a taste for seasonal. I think it has a lot to do with flavor, crispiness, and knowing that it has just come out of the ground or off the plant. So what do you put in your martini in the other seasons?!

  • I like the question of what to put in a martini in other seasons, so my post today shows what I like.

    I wish I had planted more vegetables that store well for winter, like winter squashes, garlic, beets, parsnips carrots, potatoes and dried beans. But there’s not room or time for everything. Next year I’ll add a few more of these.

    My anticipation of the first spring vegetables is high now. Nice to think ahead to their crisp fresh taste and the sunshine and warmth of the growing garden.

  • Janet from Chincoteague
    February 19, 2008 2:12 PM

    I found some black radish seeds while on vacation in Maine in the summer of ’06 and was intrigued. I planted them last year and they did quite well, but I found them to be quite sharp tasting — even more so than the typical radish bite. I probably won’t plant them again, only because I am not a really big radish fan in general.

  • To reduce the sharpness, they need to be stored for a while and I’m not sure how long this means. Maybe a few months, since the Vermont grown black radish I ate this week was delicious and must have been grown last fall. But then I like adish flavor – in small quantities.

  • Hello, I live in Texas and would like to plant the black radish, do you think they would grow out here?

    Farmers Branch, TX

  • This may be too late for your gardening endeavors, but black Spanish radishes are winter crops. They don't ball up well in the summer and get hot and bitter. You should plant them either really early spring, or better, late in August for a fall/winter harvest. They also hold well in damp sand or sawdust in a cool cellar or basement.

  • Thanks Ranee, I found this out by trial and error. They worked very well for me from a fall planting last year. And there is still one in my fridge – in March.

    I think they may not do well in Texas if its warm there. But you could maybe try in the winter and see.

  • I've had radish maggots/worms for years and the one thing that works is floating row covers. Keeps the fly that lays the eggs on the radish foliage away.
    As to Radicchio. The "Chiogga" type forms heads The "Treviso" is a loose leaf type that grows semi upright.
    Almost impossible to row in summer. Best planted for Fall harvest. Can stand frost.

    Happy Gardening

    The Garden Guy


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