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Their bright, bold hue adds visual appeal to summer salads, but it's radishes' crisp texture and peppery bite that will keep you hooked. This quick-growing root veggie can also be pickled or roasted, which brings out its sweetness. The round red Cherry Belle variety is easy to find, but seek out others, like French Breakfast, for subtle differences in flavor.
Peak Season: April to September
How to select: Choose colorful, unblemished radishes with fresh green leafy tops.
Price range: $1 to $2 per pound
Keep it fresh: Store radishes and tops in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Radishes keep up to 1 week, but tops should be eaten as soon as possible (cook them like spinach).
Pairs well with: Peas, oranges, fennel, leeks, avocado, mint, carrots, cucumbers, baby lettuces
Creative uses: Smear mild-tasting spring radishes with a high-quality organic butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast spicier summer radishes (just as you would roast carrots) and toss with honey-sweetened vinaigrette and fresh mint.
Nutrition highlights: Radishes are a very good source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining the health of your skin, teeth and bones. They also contain glucosinolates, which form indoles and isothiocyanates, biologically active compounds that may have cancer-inhibiting properties.