The Radish Collective

With my disposable camera and Virgin Mary embellished tote in hand, this past Sunday I paid a visit yet again to my favorite local farmer’s market on Grove and Divisadero.  I walked to the market with excitement looking forward to repeating the same assignment with a different ingredient from what I purchased last week from two shy but generous vendors.  While scavenging for my key ingredient, I saw the two same vendors with the exact produce set-up, including onions, greens, and bundles of bok choy.  Finding myself in an environment with familiar-faced vendors is one of the many reasons why I continue to attend farmers market’s.  

Although I went to the same market as last week, this visit was a different experience.  Last week I had a digital camera and went alone, while this week I had a disposable film camera and went with my roommate.  I usually use my other roommate’s digital camera, but she went away for the week and took her camera so I decided to take this opportunity to be a bit more artistic and get a little more experimental with my photos.  I decided to try something different and use my only option of a 35mm film disposable camera.  Not being able to see the photos throughout the project worried me, but I decided to just give it a try. 

After a few minutes of walking around the market from vendor to vendor and trying free samples with my roommate I saw from 20ft away bunches of beautiful multicolored radishes.  I had spotted my key ingredient!  My ingredient came from a farm that was actually certified organic, something I find rare.  It’s not seen very often because reaching certification is a difficult and expensive process, especially for smaller-scale organic farms. And although some farms aren’t certified, the farms are no different from a certified organic farms, if not better.  When I found the radishes I also immediately thought of the garden collective we’ve recently started on campus named “The Radish Collective,” which is the garden managing club on campus. (RAD-ish, get it?) The moment I saw bunches of radishes I knew I was using them for my project.


I bought a bunch for two bucks and asked the vendor his advice on radish preparation.  I’ve realized within the past few years that some vegetables could be eaten almost as a whole including beets (beet greens) and nasturtium’s (flowers and leaves).  I thought to myself “Why would radishes be any different?”  I asked the vendor if radish greens were edible and told me that he actually never thought to eat them before.  He ripped off two leaf samples and handed one to me.  We each ate our piece and looked at each other with the same face of realization.  Radish leaves are tasty and edible!

Before leaving, I ran into one of the directors of the Divisadero Farmer’s Market I met last week.  I asked his opinion on radish preparation and he told me that he mandolin’s them right into salads raw.  I thanked him for his advice and traveled around the market a bit more to greet my strawberry vendor friend from Gilroy, CA.  We chatted a bit about other local farmers markets he and his family attend in the greater SF bay area while my roommate purchased fresh strawberries from his stand.  I believe forming relationships at farmers markets is positive and builds community.

After the farmer’s market, I took the bus and bart to the east bay where I spent the day with friends and family.  While I was in the east bay, I also made my way to my Grandma’s house in Hayward where I harvested a bunch of oranges from her neighbor’s tree that conveniently hangs over her fence.  On the drive back to San Francisco, I looked up a radish recipe on my mom’s smart phone on one of my favorite food blogs,  I found a recipe that called for snap peas, dill and shallots.  

I adjusted the recipe a little bit and used mostly what I had at home with a few bought ingredients from Haight Street Market.  Unfortunately, the snap peas I purchased from Haight Street Market came from Mexico, so I’m hoping the oranges I picked from my Grandma’s neighbor’s backyard I used for fresh orange juice makes up for it.  I also used about half the radish leaves/greens from the bunch which ended up being a great addition to the dish.


Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps

1 tbs Olive Oil

1-2 Garlic Cloves

1 Bunch of Radishes, sliced (10-12)

All or half Radish Greens from bunch

12 ounce Sugar Snap Peas

1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced

1/4 cup of Orange Juice

1/2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 tsp fresh ginger (grated or minced)

1 tsp dried basil (2 1/2 for fresh)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 Heat oil over medium heat in nonstick skillet.  Add onions and garlic and saute for about 1-2 min.  Add radish, radish greens, snap peas and orange juice and saute for about 5-7 min.  Add ginger, basil, salt and pepper. Saute.  

Although my alternative recipe ended up being quite different from the original, the end result was delicious.  The smittenkitchen recipe called for too many ingredients I didn’t have and think were crucial so I altered it.  I’ve never had a warm radish salad before and never thought to until this project.  I use to just eat them raw with other esculent dishes, but now I think I like them better cooked.  I also discovered radish greens! I’m definitely saving this dish to make in the summertime when all the ingredients will be in season.