Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This was my dinner last night. This was also an appetizer I served to friends last week before a big, fried chicken dinner. It's incredibly delish, simple, fast and you will surprise and delight your friends and loved ones when you serve it.
You will find radishes on the scene at your local farmers' market right now. There are different varieties out there; you might want to try one you haven't tried before. They will vary in color, shape, size and flavor. Try French breakfast radishes if you can find them. They're oblong and red with a white tip. They have a crisp texture and more delicate flavor than some other varieties.
You can go about this a few ways: You can slice up a great loaf of bread, slather it with room temperature butter, throw some thinly sliced radishes on top, sprinkle it with sea salt (try Maldon or maybe a chunky, high quality grey salt) and call it a day. For the bread averse (I know you're out there), you can simply dip your trimmed radishes in the butter, sprinkle some sea salt and enjoy it that way. Your call. On a hot summer day, these babies go great with a glass of Rosé.
It goes without saying you'll want to use the best ingredients you can find. Find an artisan loaf of bread. Nope, sorry, Panera, doesn't cut it. Check your farmers' market. Check your food coop. Check smaller gourmet shops and bakeries. Is there someone in your area making gorgeous hearth loaves of bread from scratch? That's the bread you want to buy. In Chicago, we have some great options which include Anne at Crumb, Cook au Vin, and the prolific Pamela Fitzpatrick at Fox & Obel.
There are also local creameries making small-batch butter with sweet cream from cows grazing on pasture! Once you taste pasture butter you will never go back. And ahem, this butter is loaded with good fat! Did you know that milk from pastured cows also contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids or EFAs including Omega 3s and 6s? Read it and weep, people! It's healthy for you! Consider yourself unshackled.
The award-winning Nordic Creamery in Wisconsin is selling their Summer Butter right now at Green City Market and at Provenance Food & Wine. You can also buy it online. And it is not simply hyperbole when I say this butter is life changing.
This is butter that killer hostess gifts are made of. Enjoy!