Rad Radish

Foodies aren’t the only ones going back to their “roots,” so to speak, and seeking out more uncommon produce these days, as awareness of the myriad of fruits and veggies at our disposal is reaching new heights even within the average American home. Before the last decade or so, what self-respecting housewife would have been able to so much as utter the word “arugula” without sounding like a crazed schizophrenic? Now it’s practically a necessity, right up there with enoki mushrooms, endive, and all other high-end vegetative material. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m certainly not saying that attention to these edible treasure that were previously shunned is a bad thing, it’s just that those caught just outside of the spotlight’s kindly gaze are becoming fast forgotten. These days, plain old potatoes aren’t nearly good enough to grace the dinner table, especially when you could have fabulous jicama fries instead. Forget those day-glow orange carrots; They’ve been served to death, be it stewed, sauteed, or raw. Sadly, the old classics just don’t seem to excite diners like they used to.

Losing sight of those most basic, everyday staples that we all were once more than happy to throw into our soups and salads is an easy feat when such exotic varitions are now possible, but that doesn’t mean the classics have any less culinary potential. Think of all those delicious just tragically average vegetables that are doomed to rot on their shelves, just because some newcomers stole the show. Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to take any of the supermaket’s bounty for granted, so I still peruse through the old standards, even if I know exactly what to expect.

Passing slowly by the walls of greenery, the sheer number and volume of plant matter is enough to occupy the eye even far into the distance, so I found it difficult to keep tabs on everything up for sale. All the same, one lone vegetable hiding way at the bottom did manage to catch my eye; Clearly misplaced with no family members in sight, just one small radish sat patiently awaiting a taker. Although radishes had always made an appearance on party platters at my grandparents’ house, I realized that I had never actually tasted these red roots. Figuring that there’s no time like the present, this little guy was clearly destined to land in my basket.

Try taking a step back from hoity-toity “gourmet” foods and rediscover how delicious the regular offerings can be! Even if radishes aren’t the epitome of great taste, they sure are adorable, so here’s a pattern to make one that you can admire endlessly and is guaranteed never to rot on you!

Radish:

With an F hook and white worsted weight yarn…

Sc 6 st in a circle, and leave the tail end of the yarn on the outside (or right side) of your radish. Trim it so about 1 inch sticks out of the tip.
Sc around (6 st)
Sc1, sc twice into next st* around (9 st)
Sc2, sc twice into next st* around (12 st)
-Switch to red worsted weight yarn-
Sc1, sc 2 into next st* around (18 st)
Sc2, sc twice into next (24 st)
Sc around for 2 rounds
Sc2, sc2tog* around (18 st)
Sc1, sc2tog* around (12 st)
-Stuff-
Sc2tog (6 st)
Break yarn and gather opening together, tying tightly.

Leaf: (Make 2)

Using the same hook with a dark green worsted weight yarn…

Ch20, sc into second ch from hook, sc in next 10. [hdc, dc, tc, dc into next st,] *4x
Continuing around in same st, tc, [dc, tc, dc in same st, hdc]* 4 times. Sl st, break yarn leaving a good length to sew with.

Simply attach the two leaves to the top using the excess length of yarn, tie tight, and weave in the ends. Enjoy the classic veggies along with the new, and don’t be afraid to pick up that misplaced oddity in the produce section – It may prove to be a treasure you’ll always remember!