Creamed Radishes

I have a plethora of radishes – most slightly past their prime. The recent hot weather has made them grow quickly, and they are rapidly becoming large and bitter. So when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Creamed Radishes that began with the following sentence, “For this radishes which are a little larger than those desired to eat may be used,” I knew that it was a recipe that I had to try.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Creamed Radishes turned out. They were soft and easy to cut when my fork, and the cream sauce nicely balanced the cooked radishes’ mild tangy zing.

That said, I was surprised and disappointed that radishes lose their lovely red color when boiled. The cooked radishes were pale pink – and a few were so faded that they were almost beige.

I’ve already made this recipe twice, so Creamed Radishes definitely are a vegetable that my husband and l enjoy. Perhaps the reason this dish is not popular is because of its homely color, but if you can get past the color, it is definitely worth a try.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1918)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Creamed Radishes

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 bunches of radishes (about 2 cup after theΒ  leaves and roots are cut off)


1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup milk

Wash the radishes and cut off the leaves and root, but do not pare off the red skin. Put radishes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 25 minutes), then drain.

In the meantime, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Gently stir in the cooked radishes. Remove from heat and serve.

38 thoughts on “Creamed Radishes

  1. I’m glad you like radishes. If I had a bunch that were beyond prime, I’d take the easy way out and sneak them in the garbage. I enjoyed your writing about them.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post – even it you’d “take the easy way out” with radishes that are past their prime. πŸ™‚

  2. Of all the recipes I never imagined, this would be near the top. Still, it’s good that you found a new way to enjoy them. I don’t buy them, so the chances of my having some over-the-edge radishes are pretty slim, but if I ever do, I’ll know what to do with them.

    1. I find it fascinating that some vegetables like radishes were served in a wider range of ways a hundred years ago than what they are now.

    1. The cooking time is very dependent upon the size of the radishes. My radishes varied in size, and I cooked them until the largest could be easily poked with a fork.

  3. This is a great idea for using bigger radishes.
    I used to make pan roasted radishes, and they also lost their color while cooking, even though they were smaller and the cooking time was shorter. But the flavor was so good. Thanks for reminding me of cooked radishes! πŸ™‚

  4. I love radishes in salad. You are correct that they look rather unappetizing boiled, but I can imagine the taste and I’m sure I’d like it. Thanks!

  5. I would never have thought about boiling radishes, but this sounds delicious and will have to try it! I would sprinkle some parsley in just for appearance.

  6. Cooked radishes… never heard of it before. Good to know though! It would be nice if they would keep the red coloring,….throw in a red beet with them?

    1. The strange thing was that the water the radishes were boiled in turned a lovely shade of red – yet the radishes lost their color. Maybe a beet would help.

    1. I agree – It’s fascinating how some dishes stay the same across the years, while others change drastically because of changing fads, cooking methods, availability of ingredients, etc.

  7. Another recipe to try. Looks good. The color doesn’t me it sort of looks like small potatoes. I can’t eat raw radishes anymore but wonder how they would do cooked? Nothing ventured nothing gained. A cute story about radishes…when I was pregnant with my first baby my husband read if mom ate radishes the baby would have lots of hair, so he bought me a big bag of radishes!! LOL Our son had soft fine reddish hair and not a lot of it either. Maybe I should have ate more radishes. πŸ˜€

    1. You should give this recipe a try. Cooking radishes does take a lot of the bite out of them, though they still have a mild tang. I had similar thoughts about the color. If I hadn’t expected them to be red – I think that I would have been okay with the color they ended up, which is similar to the color of some small potatoes. I love the story about your pregnancy and radishes. It’s so much fun.

      1. When I go to the store I will buy some radishes. And yes, 36 yrs later and we still laugh over how DH brought home radishes for me. lol

  8. I’m usually fairly open to any vegetable recipe, but cooking radishes seems wrong to me. I dunno, gotta think on this one. I do like white sauce…

    1. If you enjoy turnips and parsnips and other cooked vegetables with similar flavors, you should give this recipe a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. πŸ™‚

  9. I just had a radish sandwich yesterday for lunch — learned to eat them from my grandfather — and suddenly I wanted that taste of childhood. You know, they really just look like creamed potatoes. I’m definitely going to try them…

    1. And, I”m going to have to give a radish sandwich a try. πŸ™‚ I can picture older relatives eating them when I was young, but I don’t think that I’ve ever actually had a radish sandwich.

  10. I would never have thought to cook a radish. I use them in salads and just to eat…used to grow them but have given up vegetable gardening. Now I go to the farmers’ market. But this sounds intriguing…so my next trip to the market I’ll look for larger radishes and see how it all works out.

    1. Sometimes I get in a rut. This recipe is a nice “new” way of using a vegetable. I think that you’ll like the Creamed Radishes.

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