Saturday, June 03, 2006

I Love Radish in the Springtime

I've grown to love certain foods only at the peak of their freshness, and springtime (yes, even into June) heralds a bounty of distinctive flavors fresh from the garden or the farmers' market.

Asparagus? From February to June, I get cravings, but the rest of the year, it doesn't much interest me. And during the first warm snap of the season, I'm ready for endless salads of mixed greens and herbs.

But easily one of my favorite –- and most short-lived –- springtime cravings is radish sandwiches.

I mentioned last year the origins of this fascination with such an unusual dish. And since I just picked up a bundle of almost-organic locally-grown radishes at the farmers' market this morning, along with a loaf of tangy wheat sourdough bread, what else could I possibly have for lunch but radish sandwiches?

Of course, even with old favorites, there's room for experimentation. Peppery radishes can be cooled down by the creamy butter, true, but I also considered the cool cucumber flavor of borage, an herb readily found in my vegetable garden.

On the way back into the house from the garden, I also happened to notice that my roses are starting to bloom, and since their flavor is a mildly peppery one (surprisingly!), too, I picked one bloom to add its vivid cherry red petals to the sandwich as well.

Crisp, creamy, soft, chewy textures all mingled with sweet, cool, and pleasantly spicy flavors for a refreshing lunch that captured the essence of a fleeting spring moment.

And fleeting it was, because for dessert I wanted to hasten the return of summer with a slice of organic black raspberry pie:

Simple pleasures like these make me love the farmers' market... every moment of the year!


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