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Preserving Radishes by Dehydrating

We're about to harvest our first radishes of the year, and I'm so excited. They are almost always our first crop, along with lettuces/greens.

We had lots of radishes in our garden last year... so many that I got tired of looking at them. They are one of the quickest crops to grow, and pretty much just "pop" out of the soil when they are ready. We mostly grow Pink Beauty radishes with a few red Cherry Belle and White Icicle thrown in. Sometimes, when we forget to harvest them, the Pink Beauty grow very big, tough, and very hot, almost like a horseradish. Hubby popped a 2-incher in his mouth at our Harvest Party last year, and his face turned so red from the heat I thought I'd have to throw him in the duck's swimming pool!

But that gave us a thought: What if we let them get big on purpose, then dehydrate them. Could we powder the dried radishes and use them like horseradish? Let me tell you ... it works! If you want to use mature (and therefore, hot) radishes to make a spicey-radish sauce for your Winter meals, here's how:

  • Harvest radishes about 2 weeks after you normally would. They will be bigger, tougher, and hotter. You could go even longer if you'd like.

  • Wash off the dirt. Do NOT cut off the stems yet but do cut off a bit of the bottom/root end and any bad parts.

  • Holding the stem, slice the radish into thin slices. Throw out the radish stems.

  • Arrange on a dehydrator tray, just barely not touching. When the tray is full, set up to dehydrate.

  • Dehydrate between 108 and 115 degrees F. until slices are very crisp.

Store in a tightly-sealed container (we use small jam canning jars - unprocessed). We tape thick construction paper around the jar, labeled with contents and date. Store in a cool dark place. When ready to use as a powdered hot "spice", take out a couple dried slices, grind into a powder with mortar/pestle or spice grinder, and make "horseradish sauce" as usual. Maybe we should call it "spicey radish sauce". Hmmm.... unusual and delicious!

The spicey radish sauce recipe will post tomorrow.

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