One of my gardening goals this year was to up my seed saving game. Doubling the size of our garden really helped with that because allowing crops to go to seed basically means abandoning them for months until they are overgrown, dried out, and full of seeds.
So I abandoned a few large radishes and a bed of lettuces and let them go to seed.
What I learned along the way was that you can eat much more than just the root of the radish in various stages of the plant's life.
First off, the leafy green tops of radishes are edible. They're slightly peppery and a little prickly, but they make great additions to soups, stir fry, side dishes, and kimchi.
They also make a great addition to dried herb blends if you dehydrate them and grind them up in a food processor and store them in a clean mason jar.
In addition to the leaves, the beautiful little purple, pink, and white flowers that bloom after about a month of abandoning your radishes are edible too! They're great on salads, stir fry, soups, side dishes, etc. as well.
Anything you want to add a pop of color to or make loom extra-special, you can garnish with radish flowers.
The last culinary treat the radish plant brings is radish pods. The pea-shaped pods that grow about a month after the radish flowers die off. They're bright green and crispy and have a light peppery radish flavor to them. I split them in half length-wise and garnish everything with them. They're especially tasty on tacos!
Eat some but let some dry out completely on the plant because this is where the seeds are. One radish pod will give you about 4 seeds and one radish plant will send up hundreds of pods so you could probably get enough food and seeds from just letting one sturdy radish go to seed after you've harvested the rest of your spring crop.
Once you've collected all the seeds, it's probably close to being time to plant more radishes again for your fall crop!
Thanks for reading! If this post inspires you to grow/eat more radishes, or to save your own radish seeds, please share!