Thursday, April 14, 2011

About the Radish

My friend and I have been looking for radishes. We thought, with the weather getting warmer and Spring firmly in place, that they would be in good supply. After all, early spring is for the radish.

But for days none of the supermarkets had radishes. Especially those little beauties with the lovely greens still attached. The kind I ate in France years ago with fleur de sel, warm bread and sweet farmer's butter. We did find some that looked like it once was a radish, all withered, old and over grown and a few others garbed in plastic. Not good.

So we wondered, my friend and I, with all the demand for locally grown and seasonal foods, why our super markets did not pay closer attention and stock produce by season?  Why do we still find tasteless tomatoes in December and strawberries priced like caviar when no one in the Northern hemisphere could possibly be growing summer fruit?

No answer here......just wondering.

But.....when you do find those lovely radishes with their lovely greens attached, do this:

  • Undo the bundle of radishes, being careful to keep the greens
  • Wash them well under cold, running water and cut off any discolored greens
  • Trim off the root end, do not pat the radishes dry
  • Lay the radishes out in a glass or porcelain container, fill with ice water, cover loosely and soak over night

Pour about 1" of sea salt or fleur de sel into a wide shallow bowl
Drain the radishes and lightly pat them dry
Lay the radishes over the salt, allowing the greens to hang over the edge of the bowl
Place the bowl on a larger platter
Diagonally slice a baguette and spread each slice with sweet butter (use the best bread and best--sweet, unsalted--butter you can find, it will make a world of difference)
Fan the buttered bread around the bowl of radishes and serve

Encourage your guests to take bites of salted radish and buttered bread together. This is a delicious treat to enjoy on soft spring evenings with a glass of Viognier or Shiraz.