Everything you wanted to know about selecting, storing, and cooking with watermelon radishes. We provide all details for using in salads, roasting, sauteing, and pickling watermelon radishes plus a round-up of our top recipes from across the globe!
A few years ago we received a bag of watermelon radishes in our CSA market share. We were ordering from a farm that specialized in heirloom and hard-to-find varieties of vegetables.
They just looked like a turnip from the outside. In fact, I actually thought they were turnips! Imagine my surprise when I cut into it and saw the hot pink center.
I have since learned that watermelon radishes are, like common radishes, part of the brassica family. And an heirloom variety of the Chinese daikon radish.
🧾 Buying Tips
Watermelon radishes can be found at farmers' markets and an increasing number of grocery stores. Our local grocery chain and Whole Foods regularly carry watermelon radishes.
While they are typically sold without their greens. If you are lucky enough to find them, you can remove the greens. Wash them well to remove the grit. Then saute and use them as you would arugula or spinach. For tips see our sauteed greens recipes.
Watermelon radishes are in season year-round but are mainly harvested in late fall through early spring.
Selecting Watermelon Radishes
The radishes should feel firm and heavy for their size. The skin should be crack and wrinkle-free. Avoid watermelon radishes that feel spongy when squeezed.
Watermelon radish can vary greatly in size, from smaller than a golf ball to much larger than a tennis ball.
👩🏻🍳 Watermelon Radish Recipes
Watermelon radishes can be eaten raw, pickled, sauteed, or roasted. Here are some of our favorite recipes!
Pickled Watermelon Radishes
The most common and easy way to enjoy watermelon radishes. Use for garnishes on salads, sushi, tacos, and more!
Starting with this quick pickled watermelon radish recipe. Pickling reduces the sharpness and the acid provides a bright flavor to any dish.
Roasted & Sauteed Watermelon Radishes
Our favorite simple and straightforward recipes for roasting or stovetop sauteing. Basic herbs, like fresh chives, basil, or parsley and a bit of lemon make these roasted watermelon radishes a delightful side dish.
For a richer flavor try these Rosemary and Brown Butter Radishes.
Main Courses with Watermelon Radishes
Watermelon radishes star in these main course recipes. Healthy, vegan, what more could you ask for? This high-protein vegan bowl has loads of fresh veggies, including our precious pink radishes.
Typical poke bowls are typically made with pieces of fish, this version uses watermelon radish cubes, which provide the perfect canvas for a marinade of rice vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger.
If you are a fan of vegan bowls, be sure to check out our beet poke bowl too.
Watermelon Radish Salads
Like all radishes, these pair well with citrus flavors & of course, beets!
This delightful Watermelon Radish Salad with feta and oranges is perfect for lunch.
For more citrus appeal, try this delightful watermelon radish salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette is perfect for spring. In the winter try this salad with pomelos. For a lighter salad try this watermelon radish and cucumber blend.
Who knew? But you know I wasn't about to let you go without a twist, right? A lightly sweetened rosemary gin cocktail filled with fresh cucumber and hints of rosemary to make a deliciously crisp and beautiful drink you’ll be sipping all summer long.
Did you enjoy this round up? Then check out our latest round up featuring... the very best sardine recipes. What can I say? I like weird food!
Not familiar with watermelon radishes? Let's go over some quick Q&A. Then recipes (which is really why you're here, right?).
These radishes have an edible round white root with wavy leaves. Like a basic radish, its flesh is tender-crisp. But its flavor is mild and only slightly peppery.
The greens are also peppery but can be bitter. Also taste test them before using them in recipes.
Because they store well you can find them almost all year-round. However, the primary harvesting comes in two seasons, spring and late fall.
These radishes should feel firm and heavy for their size. The skin should be crack and wrinkle-free. Avoid watermelon radishes that feel spongy when squeezed.
Watermelon radish can vary greatly in size, from smaller than a golf ball too much larger than a tennis ball.
Radishes should be stored in the fridge or a cool place. I find they can last 2-3 weeks without issue. Also, you don’t have to use the entire radish at once. A half-used radish will store for several days in a reusable container in the refrigerator.
You do not have to peel watermelon radishes. But, like all root vegetables, you should clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt before using them.
The root of the vegetable can be pickled, eaten raw in salads, sauteed or roasted. The greens can be tossed in salads or pureed into pestos.
Because of their bright color, they also make a beautiful topping or garnish for sandwiches, sushi, soups, and tacos.
Watermelon radishes are similar in ease to other radishes, which means pretty easy overall. However, because they are larger than the average breakfast radish they will take longer to mature (around 65 days). Note that warmer climates may cause the radishes to have a more bitter flavor.
Its official name in seed catalogs was originally Red Meat radish, some heirloom seed catalogs still call it this. Once it caught on as a popular farmer’s market item for marketing reasons vendors began to sell it under the name Beauty Heart or Watermelon radish. You can find seeds at Seed Savers.
Absolutely! Both the flesh and the greens are high in fiber and vitamin C.