This section is from the book "Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes", by Sarah Tyson Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes.......
(Raphanus sativus, Linn.)
Radishes contain neither sugar nor starch, and are eaten raw as appetizers. At dinner they are passed with the soup. They may be served, however, for breakfast and luncheon, passed at the early part of the meal. Being dense, they are rather difficult of digestion. They should be perfectly fresh and crisp. It is best to soak them in cold water at least one hour before using. If not thoroughly masticated, they will frequently produce acute indigestion.
The large black Spanish and the Japanese radishes are good only in the winter. If put in a box and covered with sand they will keep in a cool cellar until Spring. They may be served either raw, or boiled the same as turnips and served with cream sauce.
The small red button radishes are most sightly. Trim the tops, leaving one small green sprig. Wash them thoroughly in cold water; then, with a sharp knife, cut the red skin down, without taking it off, into four or five petals. Throw the radishes into ice water until wanted. If cut properly, the radishes will look like little tulips. To serve, put them in an oblong dish or round cut glass dish and cover them with finely shaved ice. It is wise to eat the skin as it aids in the digestion of the radish.