Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt (Pick Farm Series)

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Fresh, vibrant, crunchy radishes with a generous scoop of fresh butter and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt accompanied by fresh baguette is a simple, classic French summer dish. Stop in at Le Café Français on 3 Place de la Bastille (4th arrondissement) in Paris order this as a light lunch with a chilled glass of Côtes du Rhône Rosé to get you through an afternoon of sightseeing.

Fresh, simple foods like this are one of the many things we miss about life in Europe, so when I heard that radishes are in season at Pick I could not wait to get my hands on a bunch. Pulling them from the soil was a step I missed out on in Paris, but it definitely adds to the experience. These are not your typical grocery store radishes; these are crisp, spicy, and delicately earthy, and as I rubbed away the dirt under running water the glowing red color really popped. Knowing where your food comes from is something Jason and I are still passionate about, and we miss watching the farmers in the small fields harvesting the seasonal vegetables they would sell in the town market square. Every trip I take to Pick takes me back to those days, and today I’m nearly trembling with anticipation of making this fresh, simple dish we used to enjoy in Paris.

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The traditional way this is served is by swirling the whole, trimmed radish with butter and then dipping them in sea salt, while enjoying a crusty baguette. I prefer to enjoy mine as a canapé; radishes thinly sliced atop a buttered slice of baguette. So with a baguette warming in the oven I trimmed and sliced the radishes extra thin and prepared a compounded butter. Compound butter is something I used to make all the time in Germany; it is softened butter layered with flavor by adding fresh herbs and spices and then chilling. You can give it have a little kick of crushed red pepper or a hint of honey sweetness, to suit whatever it is you are going to eat it with. To make the butter workable, it should be just slightly cooler than room temperature. I combined my butter with fresh parsley, French thyme, and a dash of dried Herbs de Provence. Since sea salt will come into the picture a little later, I didn’t add any to the butter.

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Start by spreading a thin layer of butter on the bread, add a few slices of radish and top with a pinch of sea salt, I use fleur de sel de camargue, and fresh herbs. The creaminess of the butter smooths out the spiciness of the radish. This dish can be served as a starter, a light lunch or served as canapés with drinks. Either way, try them, you will love them.

*Did you know sliced radish sandwiched between slices of buttered bread is a traditional children’s snack in France? Slide over PB&J!!

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The traditional recipe:

Ingredients
1 bunch of radishes
fleu de sel (sea salt)
1/2 stick of fresh butter (unsalted and softened)

Start by trimming your radishes. Cut off the leafy greens and leave just a small section of the green twigs attached to hold them. Trim the root ends. Leave the radishes whole and swirl the whole radish with butter then dip the radish in the sea salt.

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Here’s how I like to serve it:

Ingredients
1 bunch of radishes
fleu de sel (sea salt)
*1/2 stick of fresh butter (unsalted and softened)
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of dried herbs de provence
1 baguette, sliced
freshly cracked pepper

Start by trimming your radishes. Cut off the leafy greens and trim the tip and root ends. Slice the radishes very thinly into discs (almost translucent-thin). Warm up a baguette in the oven on 325 degrees F for 15-20 mins. Cool the bread slightly and slice the bread in 12 slices. Spread a thin layer of butter on the bread slices and top with a few thinly sliced radish disc and top with parsley. Top with a pinch of fleur de sel and cracked pepper. Pairs nicely with a French 75.
*If you not up to making compound butter, you can leave it to the experts at Epicurean Butter. They have a great selection and their quality is outstanding. My favorites are the Black Truffle, Tuscan Herb, and Roasted Garlic Herb. 

Pick. at Garden Patch Farms
14158 W. 159th Street, Homer Glen, IL 60491
(708) 301-7720
info@gardenpatchfarms.com

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