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Make Your Radishes Blush

radish preserves

Colors make me happy. Preserving food does, too. Now put the two together, and you have an immensely happy Caroline.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday. Admiring the radishes my favorite farmer friends had gifted me with – taking in all the shades of purple, pink and white, plus the fascinating black, as well as the various shapes and external textures – I realized that soon it would be way too hot down here for them to grow, and I would be left without the crunchy little rounds. Unless I pickled them. So I did.

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Carpe Diem #1 – Radishes

tartine with butter, radish and sea salt

This little snack, hors d’oeuvre, appetizer (you name it) – and great accompaniment to any apéritif – makes it easy to seize the day: It can be prepared without fuss and in practically no time, of ingredients that mostly are staples. I mean, who does not have bread, butter and a good sea salt around at all times? And since it is spring, chances are, that there are some radishes in your kitchen or, even better, in your garden. (If not, this will give you an excuse to take a lovely little trip to the next farmers market, where radishes smile at you in abundance these days.)

To prepare, cut – not too thin, about 1/2 inch thick – slices of your favorite bread. Wash and dry the radishes, cut them into fine rounds. Butter the bread generously, top with the radishes so that the slices overlap. Just before eating – or serving, if you let others participate in the pleasure – sprinkle with a coarse sea salt. Done!

The contrasting textures of the individual ingredients – chewy and soft, buttery and creamy, crunchy and moist, crisp and hard – as well as the flavors – yeasty and doughy, rich and, well, buttery, peppery and earthy, salty and tickling – result in a hardy, robust, surprising concoction that makes one feel lively, beat up and ready to take on the world. This is not food that goes down unnoticed. It makes you stop, taste again, lick the lips and enjoy. – Oh, and did I mention that this hors d’oeuvre is oh so French? So, yes, it makes seizing the day very easy indeed.

bread, buttered, with radish and seasalt