Rammenas / Black Radish
This striking large black radish was grown thousands of years ago by the Eyptians, and formed such an important part of the diet that it was memorialized on stone walls and tomb carvings. Radishes of all colors and shapes are now eaten around the world: in Mexico, they are central in pre-Christmas Night of the Radish festivities when locals carve religious figures out of the vegetable to display in the town square. In the Netherlands rammenas is considered as a ‘forgotten vegetable’ but it seems to be making a comeback.
Radishes have a lot of friends, and it’s said that planting them near lamb’s lettuce (Veldsla) makes them more tender. Additionally, the flea beetle (which attacks radish) will be kept at bay by the lettuce. Radish also likes chervil.
Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
You should get your radishes out of the ground before it freezes. You can eat them right away, or store them for up to two weeks in your refrigerator (or longer if you have a root cellar). Black radishes tend to be some of the hottest. Don’t forget – the tops or greens of radishes are also edible, as are the seeds which can be used as a spicy, crunchy topping for salads. Here are some recipe ideas to use up your bounty: one for a salad with Belgian Beersel cheese, walnuts and grapefruit (in Dutch) and one for a unique rammenas carpaccio!