This summer, as luck would have it, my lacklustre gardening skills helped me discover the one-of-a-kind crunchy green vegetable that is a radish pod, the result of allowing radish plants to grow past their prime (or, in my case, planting my seedlings in a much too shallow vessel).
When you let the plants grow past the usual harvest point for their roots and leaves, tall, slender stalks begin to form and produce flowers and these green, crunchy seed pods. Once you've got enough of them, which doesn't take long, they can be harvested as a bonus crop and are a lot of fun to play with in the kitchen.
Shaped similarly to, but smaller than, a pea pod, they exhibit a similar freshness to a snap pea with the mild bite of a radish. Whether you try them fresh as-is or want to get a little more creative with them, here's a few ways to use radish pods.
If Portlandia has taught us anything in years gone by, it's that you can pickle pretty much anything. I use a straight forward pickling liquid to quick-pickle the pods. They don't more than a few hours to pick up a nice, tangy flavour while still maintaining a bit of crunch, but feel free to let them sit in the fridge for a few days to intensify their pickly flavour.
These make for a great addition to a salad or a charcuterie board. It is almost guaranteed that someone will ask, "What the heck are those?". Yes, radish pods double as a great conversation piece.
There's nothing like a quick sauté with a bit of butter and a pinch of salt to bring fresh, in-season vegetables to life. Radish pods are fairly forgiving when cooked on high-heat in the pan and hold their own structure-wise, making them perfect companions (see what I did there?) for mushrooms, brassicas and more.
Add to salads
As long as the pods aren't too large (I'd say anything longer than 1 1/2'), they can be easily added to a simple summer salad of fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the like. Their crunchy exteriors are akin to snap peas in this case.