This week Hattie’s Garden will be harvesting beautiful Daikon radishes with greens, as well as preparing herb packs containing small amounts of the four herbs we are harvesting now: dill, cilantro, parsley and lemongrass.
The carrot-shaped daikon, with its large, cylindrical, white root originated in East Asia. The word daikon actually comes from two Japanese words: dai (meaning large) and kon (meaning root).
Both the roots and greens are eaten as part of the regular diet by many cultures in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Storage: After purchasing a bunch of daikon radishes, separate the greens from the roots unless you intend to use the greens quickly. Store the greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week and store the roots in your crisper—plastic bag is fine—and they will keep for weeks.
Daikon Greens: Use daikon greens as you would any green—steamed or boiled with other vegetables or alone and as an ingredient in stir-fry or soups.
Daikon roots can be used raw or cooked. For raw eating — wash, peel, then grate, shred or slice. You can add your daikon radish and add to sandwiches, salads, and more. We used it as an ingredient in our egg salad and it was terrific. In Asia, daikon is frequently used as a pickling ingredient, as you might use cabbage and is eaten in small amounts, as a grated salad ingredient sometimes twice per day.
For cooking, daikon is interchangeable with turnips. Add to stews and soups to offset slow cooking meat. The daikon will be soft and mellow. You can also make radish chips from daikon in the same way you would use kale for kale chips. And include daikon whenever you roast vegetables, or cook on its own. You will find many recipes online.
What’s Available This Week
The following items will be available at Hattie’s Garden on Thursday, October 16, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, October 18, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market (HLFM), now located at the Shields Elementary parking lot.
This week the HLFM will feature saxophone player, Everett Spells, who will be roaming through the market grounds in honor of the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival this weekend!
You will find jazz-themed foods and a festive atmosphere along with perhaps our nicest Saturday weather yet for October!
- Daikon Radishes – bold in size, yet delicate in flavor.
- Red Russian Kale – nice bunches of tender and mild leaves. Cooking your kale releases some nutrients not as available in raw kale such as iron, while partially destroying some other nutrients–especially Vitamin C. Be sure to vary how you use your vegetables.
- Beedy’s Camden Kale – a nice Siberian style kale developed in Maine. Silvery leaves with a sweet, delightful taste.
- Spinach – young spinach leaves, individually picked and bagged for you to stay in perfect condition, but at this time available only at Hattie’s Garden on Thursday.
- Mesclun – a mix of arugula and loose leaf lettuce
- Loose Leaf Lettuce – cut at a young and tender stage of growth – a delightful variety of colors, shapes and textures.
- Pak Choi ‘Joi Choi’ – thick, crispy, juicy white stems and glossy deep green leaves. Use the entire plant for stir-fry, braising, steaming or added to soups. Cut up the stems if you want the leaves and stems to cook more evenly, or start the stems first.
- Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage – much lighter than a Napa Chinese Cabbage, fast cooking, tender and sweet. Great for stir-fry.
- Hakurei Turnips – these small Japanese delicacies are by far the sweetest “turnips” you will ever eat. Cook them until just soft without overcooking, or eat them raw as a salad turnip.
There is no need to peel them. Don’t forget to use the fabulous turnip greens. Unlike other turnips, they are “hairless” and cook quickly to a tender, delicious stage.
- Carrots – delicious, sweet young fall carrots. We are pulling some of our second planting this week and they are sweeter still than the first.
- Rudolph Radishes – beautiful, perfect, bright-red radishes with just a hint of spiciness.
- Tomatoes – we are harvesting just a few small-medium tomatoes for slicing and salads. There may also be a couple of mixed pints of mixed cherry tomatoes. If you would like tomatoes, please come to the garden on Thursday as they will be very limited and will probably not make it to the market on Saturday.
- Peppers – our hot peppers are like Ever-Ready Bunnies. They keep pumping out fruit and the weather this week has not discouraged them! Heat varies from just a little warmth as found in the Ancho/Pablano and the fruity Mariachi to very hot in our Habenero with many choices in between.
- Herb Packs – this week we are packaging our herbs in combo packs to include parsley, dill, cilantro and lemongrass.
- Individual Herbs – we will have individual bunches of herbs in larger quantities than the combo packs and plenty of fresh lemongrass to freeze for use during the winter and for using fresh in your fish, chicken and vegetable dishes.
- Flowers – we will be cutting just a few stems of Lisianthus, Zinnias, and Gomphrena. These flowers are cut and conditioned to last all week for you and come with a packet of flower food, but arrive early if you would like a bunch.
Fall Grown Herbs
Hattie’s Garden will begin harvesting fall-grown cilantro, dill and parsley. We will combine all three herbs and add a stick or two of lemongrass so you can benefit from all of these great herbs inexpensively and in quantities you can more easily use.
Did you know that cilantro, dill and parsley are all members of the Umbelliferae family, along with carrots. The edible plants in this family have lots of health benefits.
Cilantro has antimicrobial properties and can help preserve the foods in which it is used. Benefits that can be supported by research include the ability of cilantro to lower blood sugar, act as an anti-inflammatory and lower cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Dill is an antibacterial and protects against certain types of free radicals and neutralizes certain carcinogens, including smoke from cigarettes and charcoal grills. It was traditionally used to treat insomnia and sooth the stomach. It was also used for mouth hygiene, probably because of its antibacterial properties. Dill is a very good source of calcium.
Parsley is a strong antioxidant and has been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, especially the lungs. It can also help to neutralize the same carcinogens as dill.
The claims above are supported by scientific research. The World’s Healthiest Foods has much source material and more about many other foods and herbs. There are plenty of “reported” health benefits for various fresh foods and herbs. Some are true and some are not based on solid research. I encourage you to dig deep into the research before you accept any such claims.
Yours at the market and garden…