Radis au Beurre (Radishes with Butter)
Source: Jacques Pépin, chef and author of A Grandfather’s Lessons
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 19, 2018.
Radis au beurre instantly transports me to my childhood. The taste of small crunchy radishes slathered with butter and sprinkled with coarse salt is unequivocally part of a few essential tastes of my youth – along with bread and chocolate. The small radishes my mother grew or bought were the size of a baby carrot, red on top and white on the bottom. She’d split each radish open lengthwise three quarters of the way and open it like a flower, insert a piece of butter In the opening, and press the sides together to hold the butter in place. We’d dip the tip of each radish in coarse salt and consume them happily, with or without bread.
Today I use the big crunchy radishes available at farmers’ markets. I duplicate the treat of my youth by sandwiching some butter between two slices of radish and dipping them in salt. (Slice radishes into ¼-inch-thick slices, place about ¼ teaspoon butter on one radish slice, and press another slice on top. Dip on end of each “sandwich” in coarse salt and enjoy.) I also make a radish tartine, using coarse country bread that I cut into thin slices, slather with butter, load with thin slices of radish, and sprinkle with fleur de sel. These are one of my summer delights, and Shorey likes them as well.
Makes 2 servings
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 slices country bread (about 8 by 4 inches and ½ inch thick)
4 or 5 round red radishes, about 1½ inches in diameter, cut into 8 thin slices each
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt
To prepare: Butter the slices of bread on one side and cut each slice across into 2 pieces. Arrange overlapping slices of radish on top, sprinkle with salt, and serve.