A huge success in the polytunnel this summer has been 'Hilds Blauer Herbst und Winter' radish from Mr Fothergill's. The seeds came free in a magazine, so really were 'food for free' (if you discount the cost of the magazine I guess). Although they can easily be grown outdoors between May to August, as I had a bit of a gap in the tunnel, I sowed some seeds directly into the soil in a few staggered rows. They just needed daily watering to prevent the roots from spliting and this is the end result - 600 gms of peppery radish.
Radish crops should be harvested as soon as they mature or they're in danger of becoming woody and running to seed (when they put their energy into flowering rather than producing a good, harvestable crop).
This large German variety has a lovely purple skin and can also be sown at the end of the summer and stored for winter (in boxes of sand and left someone dry and cool).
Large winter radishes like this can be left whole, cooked in boiling water for 10 minutes and served with a parsley sauce. However, we sliced this one up and added it to a mixed salad for lunch.
Whilst searching through the recipe books I found an interesting one for Brie & Radish Mousse. The ingredients include 14-16 small radishes, which I'm keen to have a go at next time I see some Brie in the reduced counter and I've overplanted the seeds (it happens from time to time)!
Radishes are a great crop for beginners as they're quick to germinate, with seedlings usually appearing within a couple of weeks after sowing.