Watermelon radishes are the root veggie equivalent of celeb babies when it comes to Instagram stardom. Chefs (and photographers) love them for the bright pink playfulness they add to any dish. And like their standard ruby cousins, they’re crunchy and add a spicy zip to dishes.
But what is a watermelon radish exactly? It’s an heirloom variety of the daikon radish. Packing vitamin C, fiber and potassium, watermelon radishes infuse any boring green salad with their hot pink hue. Ready to get cooking with watermelon radishes? Check out some of our favorite recipes from healthy cooking bloggers.
9 Watermelon Radish Recipes to Perk Up Your Meals
Quick pickles are one of the easiest ways to use a large haul of watermelon radishes from the farmers’ market. This basic recipe gives you the flexibility to add any seasoning that sounds good to you, like fennel seeds and chili flakes. Keep in mind that this is a quick pickle recipe, so the radish pickles will not last for months — only about two weeks. Photo and recipe: Evan Kalman / Add 1 Tbsp
You had us at “pizza.” We love this super-simple recipe, which calls for little more than whole-wheat dough and cheese. Pesto is a nice change from the usual tomato basil sauce, and the arugula and watermelon radishes offer a peppery punch. Buffalo mozzarella melts beautifully for a cheesy crust. Photo and recipe: Debi / Simply Beautiful Eating
Two stars of the season come together in this radish and orange salad. The tangy and sweet play of citrus and radish is complemented by the earthy and creamy flavor of goat cheese. Don’t skip toasting your nuts! It makes all the difference in this recipe, and the warmth is a nice addition, too. Photo and recipe: Alexandra Stafford / Alexandra Cooks
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Toast: It’s one of those foods you wouldn’t think needs a recipe. Until you discover this one and realize these flavors blend into a seriously delicious snack (or meal!). Mascarpone — the type of cheese you find in tiramisu recipes — offers a light and airy texture to the crunchy toast. Consider using wildflower honey for an unexpected floral note. Photo and recipe: Patricia Bozeman / Rhubarbarians
No, watermelon radishes aren’t only meant to be eaten cold. This roasted radish recipe proves that they work just as well hot as cold, and cooking tones down their spicy edge. The tahini sauce balances the flavor and color of this dish with a variety of green herbs, including dill, mint, parsley and chives. Photo and recipe: Sherrie Castellano / With Food and Love
This list wouldn’t be complete without a green salad. Again, citrus plays a role here (perhaps you’re noticing a theme?), cropping up in the homemade citrus vinaigrette that also features white wine vinegar, olive oil and minced shallots. We love that the dressing is really the only element of this salad that requires any prep, which makes it super easy to whip up as a side or light meal. Photo and recipe: Shaina Olmanson / Food for My Family
As if this watermelon radish soup wasn’t appealing enough, it’s also oh-so-pretty with its pink broth. The addition of ginger makes this broth spicy and warming from the inside out. Kale and green onions are about the only other ingredients you need to round out the simple soup. Photo: Amy Chaplin; Recipe: Heidi Swanson
When you need something heartier than a green salad, this grain bowl is the perfect option. Walnut oil, in addition to pecans, creates a warm, toasty flavor profile. Arugula, parsley, mint and tarragon add a variety of flavors and nutrients that one green alone couldn’t provide. We love that this salad works as a potluck side, light dinner or leftovers lunch — warm or cold. Photo and recipe: James Ransom / Food52
This isn’t your college dorm ramen. Packed with hemp seeds, coconut cloud, broccoli and brown rice noodles, this ramen dish makes healthy comfort food. Amaranth greens, like watermelon radish, add a bit of a bitter kick, while the fresh ginger lends a tangy flavor. Photo and recipe: Purple Carrot