This is a Spanish Black Radish - they come in either round or these elongated forms. Though the skin is dark, the flesh is pure white. You don't peel them, just wash them well to remove any dirt and they will be fine.
If you use a rough brush to wash them you'll get a streaky look as the skin is very thin. They are a winter crop - even though in a week it will be the start of summer here, judging on the current weather outside, you'd think it was winter at the moment.
There's a pleasant amount of heat in their raw state. I have read that they can be bitter but I didn't find that in any of the radish I tried.
Nutritionally you'll find Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and Folate as well as Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.
When considering how to tackle these radish, I decided to take inspiration in part of their name and seek some guidance in the book 1080 Recipes by Simone and Inés Ortega. It's a book that is described as a "Spanish cooking bible" and true enough, I did find an appropriate radish recipe.
The original recipe calls for regular radish and orange but I've swapped that with the Spanish Black and Blood Oranges and I've eliminated the oil preferring to keep it fresh and rely on the juice of the oranges to form my dressing.
Blood Orange and Black Radish Salad
2 Spanish Black Radish
2 Blood Oranges
fresh walnuts, finely chopped
freshly ground salt
freshly ground white pepper
Prepare the Oranges:
You need to segment the oranges. First you cut a slice from the top and bottom of the orange and then sit it on your board. Take a flexible knife and cut away the skin and pith from the orange - following the curve of the orange will help you make a clean cut. When each orange is free of pit, take a small knife and cut out the segments - you need to leave the membrane behind, all you want is the pure flesh.
Do the segmenting over a bowl so to collect the juice as you cut and when all the segments are free, squeeze the remnants in you hand to extract any other juice.
Prepare the Radish:
Wash the radish well to remove any dirt and then grate the radish.
Assemble the salad:
Add the grated radish to the orange segments and juice - season with a little salt and pepper and gently toss to combine. Let this sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
When ready to serve, sprinkle over with a little finely diced walnuts, you could also add some freshly shredded mint if you like.
You'd be surprised just how refreshing this salad is - even when it's hailing outside! There's that lovely mix of sweet and sharp, nutty and warm, all up it's rather cleansing.
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