Sunday, June 7, 2009

Radis, beurre, et sel

Yesterday at the farmers market I was surprised to see how many vendors still have spring radishes. One of the farmers explained that the significant rainfall these past three weeks has kept newly harvested radishes tender and buttery.

Although they are grown year round, radishes prefer the cooler weather. Spring radishes (at least the varieties available at my local farmers market) tend to be smaller, but have a smoother taste. Radishes available in the hotter, dryer months tend toward a more peppery flavor.

Nevertheless, all those radishes gave me a chance to serve up a favorite—radishes with butter and salt. Radishes are not French, but the addition of good butter and salt makes this humble vegetable decidedly French. In France they are served as an appetizer or savory snack.

There are several ways to prepare radishes and butter. The first is to simply cut the top off the radish, add a bit of unsalted butter, dip it in salt, et voila! There is something unexpected about the mild spicy crunch of the radish blended with the cool smoothness of the butter that is so delicious. If you want to get a little fancier you could cut a small, lengthwise wedge out of the radish and fill it with butter before sprinkling with salt.

Another delicious way to enjoy radishes and butter are on top of a baguette. First, slice the radishes paper thin. Then cut a baguette, butter it, layer on the thinly sliced radishes, and sprinkle it with your favorite salt.

Either way, you’ve prepared something fresh, inexpensive, delicious, and authentically French. If you decide to give it a try, I'd love to hear about it.

Bon appétit!

10 comments:

  1. This actually sounds really good. I don't even know how long it's been since I have had a radish

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is Radis Beurre something to be used on the meats in your main meals or is it used as an entree?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm. We may be talking about different recipes. I believe you can make a radis beurre--a radish butter--by mincing or even pureeing radishes and adding them to softened butter. When the butter firms, the result would be a radis beurre, similar to an herb butter. This could be used as an accompaniment to meats.

    What I refer to in my post is buttering the radish then sprinkling it with salt. I have never served it as an entrée, but have served it as an appetizer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I mentioned your post to my French friend today after she said she was hoping her radishes would be coming up soon. She said she buys a specialty butter that has big grains of salt in it and dips the radishes in that. Yum!
    K

    ReplyDelete
  5. A specialty butter! If you don't mind, ask her for the name. Thanks, Kristi.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did. But she didn't know. But she did tell me where I could buy it here. I may pick it up this weekend and I'll get back to you on the name. You've inspired me to buy some radishes at the farmer's market this weekend and on my way home I'll stop at the store she mentioned.
    K

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kristi, if you buy radishes this weekend and try them with butter and salt--or sliced thin on a baguette--you have to write about it! Isn't it fun to try new things?

    And YSLGuy, let me know if you try radis, beurre, et sel. It really is a delicious savory summer snack.

    ReplyDelete
  8. After I got home from my last visit to France and couldn't find that nice butter with the coarse salt in it, I started mixing a few teaspoons of fleur de sel into a stick of softened butter. Haven't done that in a while, but it's an option.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never seen this butter with coarse salt, and you're the second reader that's commented on it. Now my curiosity is piqued and I need to find it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi, we usually have it with a good beurre salé Breton. Alain

    ReplyDelete