Saturday, August 23, 2008

French breakfast radishes

The elegantly tapered, white-tipped French breakfast radishes are the Coco Chanel of the radish family. Not only are they crisp with a lovely crunch, but they have a delicate bite, but with less spice than the commonly found red radish.
You have to agree that their beauty en mass is indeed a show stopper at the Farmers Market.

This root vegetable is related to the turnip and horseradish family, with a crisp texture and a mild to delicately sweet flavor. The French Breakfast radish has an elongated shape that can grow to approximately three inches in length, displaying a lovely pink-rose outer skin, which turns white at the root base.

As a child, I recall that my mother used this radish to make small hors d'oeuvres, that she served with aperitifs. She sliced them thin and layered the radishes on a crusty baguette spread with fine quality French butter and sprinkled with sel gris. But as an adult, accustomed to moderating my fat and sodium intake, I love the texture and flavor that these particular radishes add to a simple summer salad.

I start with heirloom tomatoes, sliced in chunks; small carrots, julienned; the French breakfast radishes, sliced thin, and a mix of fresh lettuces. I drizzle extra virgin olive oil, a dash of good balsamic vinegar and toss all ingredients.
Sprinkle with sel gris, or sea salt, and several grinds of fresh ground white (or black) pepper.
Et viola…!

I did not state exact proportions for this recipe, as I make it to taste and it varies slightly each time. You can modify the proportion of each ingredient or add other favorite ingredients to your taste, while summer veggies are fresh and readily available…
Bon appetit…!


A Brush with Color said...

"The Coco Chanel of the radish family" is fabulous! What a good quotation! I always heard that radishes and butter were delicious and I have never tried that. Your simple salad sounds excellent--I happen to be one of those people who love radishes, so I'd like that. I'll have to make it one night here soon. What a wonderful photo of those radishes brimming over so gloriously!

Camera Crazy said...

I love radishes as well although I've never had these beauties. As well, butter is one of my favorite things to eat and I'm admitting freely that I eat it with abandon.