A classic French way of serving radishes, simple and yet so good; crunchy radishes are simply served with fresh butter and sea salt. I like to serve mine with Fleur de Sel, which is the caviar of French sea salts. You will be offered this in most French homes as an aperitif snack or as an appetiser before a meal. All that is needed is some traditional French bread to accompany it for a light lunch or supper dish. Table salt is fine if you cannot source Fleur de Sel or a good sea salt. (Information on Fleur de Sel: Many consider fleur de sel, which means “flower of salt” in French, the finest type of sea salt available. Its price reflects its high quality, as it costs about 10 times more than your average sea salt and 100 times more than table salt. The delicacy with which it is hand-harvested accounts for much of the expense. Fleur de sel floats on the surface of shallow salt water marshes and is scraped off with a special rake called a lousse à de fleur. The raking must be done carefully by hand to prevent mixing the fleur de sel with the coarse gray salt beneath it. France harvests most of the world’s fleur de sel, with the town of Guérande possibly being the most famous producer. Fleur de sel has a higher mineral content than table salt, a natural greyish hue, a moist texture and a violet-like fragrance. Sprinkle it on food before serving to enliven flavours.)
- Wash and gently dry your radishes. Snip the leaves off, or leave them on if they are very fresh.
- Serve the radishes with slightly softened butter and a bowl of fleur de sel sea salt or table salt.
- If you wish to serve this as a light supper or luncheon dish, serve with crusty bread.
I paired this with FT's smoked salmon and peppered creme fraiche as appetizers to precede Ina Garten's Boeuf Bourguignon for a french-themed dinner. My guests were surprised at how tasty such a simple dish could be. I served organic radishes with just a bit of the stem left on, offered guests the choice of fresh unsalted butter from Maine or unsalted Kerrygold butter from Ireland (which I can readily find in groceries here in New Hampshire). I also offered two choices of sea salt: Mediterranean fleur de sel, and Bay of Fundy sea salt. This was a smash hit with everyone. It's a lovely appetizer for any time of the year, and I may make it for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, to counterbalance heavier apps. I must confess, I bought 3 bunches of radishes, and only served two, and I'm glad I did - we'll be snacking on this lovely little dish while watching Sunday's football games. FT, this is a really lovely, simple, but delicious recipe - thank you so much for sharing!
Karen, you have done it again! Another recipe of yours that is just fabulous! Simple yet elegant and very tasty!
I luved the fresh, sharp taste of the radishes with the mellow butter (I used a garlic infused organic one) and flavourful sea salt. Mmmm!
I imagine this would also be perfect for a summer picnic or even a garden party buffet.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this wonderful recipe with us!
Made and reviewed for the Aus/NZ Recipe Swap August 2010.