Thursday, May 26, 2005

You Look Radish-ing, Dahling!

Of all the spring produce from my garden, I think I have come to enjoy radishes the most. They grow quickly, are easy to thin, and as they get bigger, you see the rosy roots peeking shyly out of the soil, beckoning you to come and pick!

So I did.

I went home for lunch today, intending to sit outside and soak up the warm sunshine that has been scarce lately. I had some fresh rolls, courtesy of Phoenix's visit to West Point Market last evening, some sweet unsalted butter, and a whole row of radishes... more than I could possibly need for some simple radish sandwiches.

Years ago, when I first got curious about French cooking, I borrowed a cookbook from the Chef Mother and was struck by a photograph of a French family having a picnic and the children stuffing their faces with radish sandwiches on crusty bread. I thought it was a bit odd at the time, but after sampling my first one, I was hooked. Combine that peppery bite of the fresh radish with the sweet creaminess of the butter and the tender/crusty dichotomy of good French bread, and you have a perfect little meal on a sunny day. (And believe me, I'm not the only one to think this.)

One year I even tried a slight variation, adding freshly grated lemon peel to the butter, and that made a wonderful combination, too.

Today, though, I wanted to let those glorious fresh French radishes from my garden have center stage all to themselves. Oh, so good, especially when enjoyed al fresco! And I'm planning to bake more crusty rolls this weekend because, well, there's a whole row of radishes out there.

My mouth is watering already.

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