While most of us don't think of the radish as a breakfast food, it is somewhat common for Europeans to eat raw vegetables in early or midday as a way to rid the body of toxins. This particular breed of half fuschia and half white radish also known as Les Radis Petit Déjeuner makes for a mild, yet slightly spicy treat. With essentials Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, folate, iodine, iron, and potassium, it is an extremely healthy choice. And because of its oblong shape and 2-4" size, it can be a fun finger food for kids. You could even say they are shaped like fingers! While some radish lovers do tend to eat them raw, they can be sauteed with butter and salted, pickled or fermented in kimchi recipes, added to potato salads, or roasted, just to name a few. The greens can be used in salads, soups, pastas or juices. These lovely radishes are paired well with creams and cheeses. The popular food blog, Killing Thyme suggests an interesting recipe for toast topped with cream cheese and French Breakfast Radish slices.
When you decide to grow the French Breakfast Radish, you will find that it is relatively easy and almost foolproof. It is generally planted and harvested in spring or fall, as this will contribute to your radishes having the most crisp texture and mild flavor. Planting in the cooler months will ensure the roots don't get too hot as this can impede root formation. With a growth time around 3 weeks (or 20 days), they are a great addition to any garden.
Regular weeding and watering will ensure a decent growth season, but be sure not to over-water a radish plant as this will contribute to rotting and will attract some pests such as root maggots. Adequate drainage is essential. Aphids may also be a nuisance but they can be easily rinsed off the leaves if found early enough. Because of the radish being a fast growing plant, pests are usually not much of an issue.
This strain of radish hasn't yet been made a popular American favorite, but once you try this mild, crisp and creamy root, you'll be glad you did.
Sowing The Seed
Radish plants are cool weather crops, so the seeds are best established directly outdoors, 8 to 10 weeks prior to the first frost. Start be clearing your sowing area of all unwanted plant life & weeds. Turn the dirt, or replace it with fresh, new soil. Sow your seeds at a depth of 1/2” under topsoil, in groups of 2 or 3, in a triangle formation.
Because Radish plants enjoy the cooler temperatures of the Autumn season, you should make sure that temperatures stay between 55F and 80F. Plant them in an area that will receive full sunlight for the majority of the day. The soil should be rich, but also well drained. To increase drainage, try adding a bit of light compost to areas containing hard, compact soil. Water daily in the morning, but avoid overwatering as this can cause your Radishes to become waterlogged.
Germination & Growth
Radish seeds will begin to show signs of life within as little as 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants will grow 4 to 6 inch tops, producing 2 inch, purple colored roots. The seeds, as explained above can be sown in groups of 2 or 3, while spacing each group roughly 4 inches apart from one another. The rows will be spaced about 8 inches apart. Harvest when young, just as the roots measure 2 inches in diameter.