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Have you ever eaten a rat tail?


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#1 GLP

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 05:26 PM

I know you are probably thinking about a Phil Karlson horror movie like “Ben”, or possibly a foreign countries delicacy that eludes our sensible palate.  Both of these images couldn’t be further from the truth. I am referring to the Raphanus caudatus, which literally translates to a radish with a tail like a rat.

 

6f6a71da-0404-4b26-94fd-fdb8f7c377f7_zps

 

 

Edible podded radish plants look very similar to traditional radish plants except that the flowers are allowed to go to seed and form seed pods, this provides an exceptional looking plant that performs very well in the summer heat, unlike the cool weather varieties that most of Ohio gardeners enjoy.  This plant also enjoys the fact that it can be used as an edible landscaping plant, displaying it’s beautiful flowers before producing an abundance of the little seed pods that are shaped like rat tails.

The sprawling plant has rather tall spindly stems growing 2-4 foot tall and up to 2 foot wide. Succession plant every two weeks to enjoy rat tail radishes through the entire summer.  Once the plant flowers, the seed pods will start to form.  Harvest the seed pods while young to enjoy the tender morsels before they become tough and too hot as some radishes can become. 

 

If you plan to save seeds, do not let rat tail cross pollinate with conventional radish varieties. Use the rat tail radish in salads, eat them fresh from the garden, and use them to stir fry’s, or consider pickling them. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 6 days.

Radish is considered to be an antiseptic, antirheumatic, appetite stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic and rubefacient. Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a powerful immune booster. It has a long history of medicinal use.

 

httphihort.blogspot.com-Raphanus_sativus

 

You can also pickle them for later use.

 

httphihort.blogspot.com-Raphanus_sativus

 

 

PEAS WITH PROSCUITTO, PORCINI, AND RADISH SNAPS
(Courtesy of the http://foragerchef.com/)

 

Foragerchef.com-Peas-with-porcini-radish

 

Serves 4 as a side dish

 

Ingredients

⦁    2 cups diced fresh porcini (this weighed out to 1lb exactly)
⦁    2 cups shell peas (frozen peas can be substituted)
⦁    ½ cup sweet yellow onion, diced
⦁    1 oz. fresh prosciutto, sliced into ½ in ribbons
⦁    2 tbsp. butter
⦁    ½ cup radish snaps
⦁    Kosher salt and pepper to taste
⦁    2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (chives or a mix of parsley and tarragon would also be great)
⦁    1/4  cup chicken or vegetable stock

 

Method

⦁    Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and cook the radish snaps for 10 seconds. Remove the radish snaps and chill in ice water, then drain and reserve until needed.
⦁    Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the porcini. Season the porcini with ¼ tsp kosher salt and cook until they’re lightly browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes on medium heat.
⦁    Next add the onions, prosciutto, and another tbsp. of butter if the porcini have soaked up all the fat. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and no longer raw.
⦁    Add the chicken or vegetable stock and cook until evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and radish snaps and heat through, add the parsley. Finally double check the seasoning for salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

Whether you like growing heirloom varieties, creating unusual combinations in salads, or adding a little more diversity to your diet, you will enjoy the rat tail radish with it’s unusual bite and texture.
 


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#2 sillyrabbitcubiesR4us

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 06:13 PM

You had me queasy there for a minute, before the page loaded. haha.. That looks absolutely delicious, thanks for sharing!

Now, I'm hungry and my mouth is watering.


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#3 GLP

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 07:31 PM

Sorry, did not intend to make you queasy only to get your attention. This is a really nice edible that fits into a landscape very nicely and yields lots of little tasty morsels for salads, dehydrating, and pickling.

 

Now for the queasy part, I once had a meal in Spain with business associates that took us to a private club. Our host ordered something different than the rest of us that ordered off the menu, when it arrived it looks like a tomato casserole dish with a lot of vegetables. He asked us if we wanted to try a bite, not wanting to insult our host we did try a bite which bit back at us so I could only describe it as eating a piece of gristle. After one of our group had tried the second piece he asked our host what exactly were we eating because it was not that tasty, our host exclaimed that we were eating baby calf lips. :ohmy:

 

So I would never do that to you.  :tinfoil:


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#4 sillyrabbitcubiesR4us

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:38 PM

Lol, really, no worries. Obviously I wasn't too queasy or I wouldn't have clicked. ;)

I've tried cows tongue, not a fan.. So I can not imagine the lips would be any better.. However, you're a nice guest because I would have had to inquire about what it was. I've been tricked into eating many things that I probably wouldn't had eaten before, lol.. So I'm scarred.


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#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 12:34 AM

So what is the radish itself like? I have tried a lot of varieties and am partial to watermelon radish. I have not seen this one but it looks interesting.



#6 GLP

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 08:54 AM

The radish is almost like a small pea pod, the outer covering is a little bit more fibrous than a pea pod but inside would be small pea like seeds. The entire pod is eaten, I have never seen anyone try to extract the seed to eat only that. The taste is entirely radish, a little sharp almost peppery. Tasty for sure.

 

I like the black radishes from Europe with a nice cold beer :tinfoil:


Edited by GLP, 18 December 2016 - 08:56 AM.

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#7 Skywatcher

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:44 AM

So on this one, the root ball is left alone and not eaten, the "radish" is the pods it produces? 

Point me to a source if you woul please, I want to try these.


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#8 Myc

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 12:20 PM

Thanks GLP !! 

Seriously.

 

I planted and grew these this year. They were a "throw-in" from a seed company.

But - I was looking for traditional radishes - I thought these seeds were mis-labeled so I just watched the plants grow.

 

These things grew and produced like crazy. 

I had no idea that the bean-like pods were the radishes (there was no information on the seed package). 

Embarrassing but true - I've learned about everything in this way. Thank you for posting this. I will be saving some seed for next year. The plants did extremely well in the straw-bale garden. 

 

Sometimes, I feel like such a dumb-ass.  :blush:

Rat tails.........heh.


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#9 CatsAndBats

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 12:48 PM

I eat rats

#10 GLP

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 01:42 PM

Skywalker, don't touch the roots, if you look the root structure above and below ground the rat tail plant does not swell at all they look like a straight stalk. Here are a couple of links to seed companies, I was so excited with the production and taste I did not save any seeds either. :sad: The companies listed I trust.

 

http://www.rareseeds...rat-s-tail-rad/

 

http://www.seedsaver...t-tailed-radish

 

Myc, They were a last minute thought for me, I always test a few unusual things each year with mixed results. This was one of my choices two years ago, they got a little of the space that I use for cowpeas (nitrogen fixer). I think you are right that they would do well in a straw bale because they would not be affected by any nitrogen drop when using a bale as a grow source. Great idea!

 

Cat - Why doesn't that surprise me  :tinfoil:


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#11 Myc

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:25 PM

As promised, some seedpods were collected. These originally came from seedsavers.org.

The dried pods behave as a styrofoam packing crate for the seeds. 

 

I'll be revisiting this thread next year. A Friend of mine is really good at fermenting and pickling things. These should be fun to try. 

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#12 GLP

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 06:37 PM

Pickling is definitely in order here also. They will be only for me, Mrs GLP does not like anything pickled. :tinfoil:


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#13 Juthro

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 03:37 PM

Not even sweet pickled things, like sweet pepper relish, GLP?
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#14 GLP

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:12 AM

Nada, nyet, nein, no, un-uh, nix, nope, no way Jose, negative, no siree, not on your life, don't think so.  :tinfoil: :biggrin:


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