Radish Pods (Green City Market- Chicago, June 27, 2012)

Two weeks ago today I returned from Berlin to Chicago.

It’s strange how fast I re-aclimated. I was expecting some sort of reverse culture shock but instead it feels like I never left.

I haven’t had much energy to update the blog: I’ve been biking from Uptown to Hyde Park almost every day and in the evenings I’ve been spending time with people in the evenings rather than in front of the computer.

I did make it to Green City Market last week. After a year of London and Berlin markets, the uniqueness of the American Farmers’ Market stuck out. Both European cities had excellent weekly outdoor markets, but neither was particularly focussed on individual farmers or even on produce- prepared foods and cheese were a big draw. The variety and seasonality of what was on offer at Green City impressed me, as did the direct contact with regional farms. Our food system in the US is nothing to brag about- that’s for sure- but the concept of the farmer’s market is one good thing to come out of it.

Last week, for example, I came across radish pods. Maybe you know about these delights already, but I hadn’t come across them until now. Radish pods are the seed-pods of the so-called “rat-tail” radish- a different plant from the common garden radish, which is grown for its root.

Eaten raw, they’re peppery and crisp, but sautéed for a minute or two in olive oil they become buttery. I like them both ways, but prefer the sautéed version.

After briefly sautéing them in olive oil, we chopped up a block of queso fresco (farmer’s cheese) and tossed them together. We ate them as a side with omelets for breakfast. It was perfect for the sweltering summer heat of Chicago.

To prepare the pods, simply wash and trim the stems off before sautéing. The entire pod is edible.





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