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The Quintessential French Radish

Quintessential French Radish

 I remember the first time in France I was served the much loved French hors d'oeuvre radishes with salt and butter. The spicy crunch of the radish, followed by the creamy, rich taste of butter, and then a slight crisp touch of delicate flaky salt brought these seemingly simple ingredients together to create a beautiful balance that you can’t stop thinking about once you’ve tried them. The stem made the perfect little handle for shared snacking, and I still remember that first bite: Instantly it was one of my favorite snacks to share and prepare. It’s one of those things that is so simple that a recipe is hardly needed. The most important thing is the quality of the ingredients. Use the best quality sweet butter, the best flaky sea salt, and the freshest radishes (Multi-colored “Easter Egg Radishes” are a colorful favorite followed by the classic “French Breakfast Radish”. I also love to make two or three herbed butters to serve with a crispy baguette and the radishes on the side. (Recipe at end of page)


 Why do people eat radish with butter? The butter truly tones down the peppery, hot flavor of radish and turns it into an indulgent treat. If you were going casual, you would serve the radishes on a plate with a lovely bowl of room temperature butter and a smaller pretty bowl of salt. But for entertaining, I love to get creative with different flavored butters, and sometimes mixing the crunchy salt directly into softened butter. 


One easy creative way to serve a round radish is to cut it in half, and spread the salted butter on top. I love to serve them with a bit of the green tops to easily hold the bite sized piece between your fingers. 


For a cocktail serving platter, cut rainbow radishes in thick slices, top with a bit of salted or herbed butter, or cream cheese with herbs,  and sprinkle with colorful micro- greens. Shop Platters


Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter

Roasted radishes are delicious too! Mix trimmed radishes in a bowl with olive oil, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, salt, pepper. Add your favorite herbs if you like.  Roast on a baking sheet in the oven on 425 degrees until crisp-tender when piercing with a fork. They are best when they retain some of the crispiness. 


 To store radishes, rinse well and trim the tops without removing about an inch or two of the tops. ( totally trim off the green tops if you do not plan on eating them within a couple of days) Dry the radishes and store on top of a paper towel in a cover glass container (keeps them really cold) or plastic bag in the refrigerator for about a week.


Orange Tarragon Butter

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup salted butter at room temperature

Honey Mustard Chive Butter

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons finely chopped chives

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup salted butter at room temperature

Herbed Butter

½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 tablespoon finely minced shallots or 1 large garlic clove

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or rosemary

1 tablespoon minced parsley or chives

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until all herbs have been incorporated into the butter
Then spoon the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Form into a log and wrap well. Chill for at least 3 hours before using.


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