Monday, November 18, 2013

Things We Like....

Here is just a small portion of my bumper Radis Noir (that's raphanus sativus, var. niger) crop this year. Most of them are still in the ground, getting bigger! I never saw black radishes in the USA, but here in rural France, they are eaten and enjoyed as a raw root vegetable. They can get pretty big...some of mine so far are over 10 inches long. They are nick named, The Poor Man's Sausage, because they grow to the size of a Saucisson. Commonly, we take off  the tough black skin and slice them thin and eat them with salt, butter and bread. They taste like radishes, but sweeter and the heat varies. One of my favorite ways to eat them is to grate them with some raw carrots and dress them simply with a little salt and lemon juice.  I love this, but I have been experimenting with them...cut into strips and added to stir fries! Then the real winner: black radish chips! peeled, cut thin, then you can see the interesting pattern of the slices, I put the slices into a bowl with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some crunchy fleur de sel...then after they were coated, I put them on a baking sheet in a 200 degree centigrade oven for about 20 or so minutes, depending as to how crispy you want your chips. Really great junk health food!
Pattern in the radis noir slice

But, interestingly enough, once I had developed a taste and hankering for these winter root vegetables, I started noticing Radis Noir in the organic medicine section of the local pharmacies. You can buy it in liquid form or in capsules. Then as I dwelved deeper into the local wisdom here, I saw dried cubes of radis noir being sold in markets as a folk medicine. What is it good for? People here swear by them as a digestive aid. They promote gall bladder and liver health by their action in the elimination of toxins from the system. If you know anything about French folk medicine, almost every problem originates with the liver.... la foie! They are used to alleviate the symptoms of food allergies and constipation. The juice is used to promote respiratory health. They are a very good source of vitamins B and C.  The slices are used to remove blemishes from the skin. They are pretty big and  ugly but I have had exceptional luck in growing them and I really like them! I seem to end up having them for lunch almost every day, one way or another! I'm going to try drying them in cubes like I see in the little farmer markets here. It was great to discover that something I really liked was so good for me!

1 comment:

Ol'Buzzard said...

looks are deceiving
the Ol'Buzzard