Radishes, butter, sea salt, fresh bread. Eat together and you’ve got a classic French breakfast food and/or cocktail-hour snack. Remind me why I hadn’t tried this before?

Maybe because we didn’t eat radishes that way growing up. And when you don’t, the combination sounds weird no matter how many good things you read. It happens I’ve read plenty — Sally for one promoted their merits a couple years back, and she gives sound advice. Molly Wizenberg got nostalgic over them in her lovely book A Homemade Life. I remained dubious, however.

Well. Turns out it’s good. And so simple. Radishes and salt bring out the sweetness in butter. Creamy butter tames the radishes so they’re interesting instead of hot and bitter. You want to slice the radishes so thin the slices are practically transparent — like “a communion wafer”, Wizenberg suggests. Or mince them fine, toss with sea salt, and sprinkle over your toasted, buttered bread.

Try it if you’re stumped by that bunch of radishes in your weekly CSA box. Or even if you’re not. I promise you’ll like it. Especially when you’ve just poured your first glass of pinot and you’re pawing about for sustenance and inspiration with which to cook the evening’s meal.

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