radish butter

There is almost nothing I love better than radish butter on toast, on a cool spring morning when the radishes are new.

First you toast the bread, on just one side.  How do you toast it on just one side?  You use a toaster oven, laying the slice on a piece of foil or a tray, so the down side is protected.  The nubbly, nutty, toothy crumb of multi-grain bread suits the purpose better than anything else I can imagine.

While the bread is toasting, you slice very cold unsalted butter as finely as you can, 1/32nd of an inch thick.  It’s going to melt, but just barely.  If your knife’s not sharp, you can use a peeler.  Or grate it on a box cutter.  

When the toast is just stiff and barely gilded on its up side, you take it out and wave it around a bit till it’s only just warm to the touch.  The butter goes on the untoasted side, where it clings and subsides a little, but doesn’t melt.

Next you salt the butter just enough.  (With Maldon salt if you’ve got it and like it, or any other salt if you don’t.)

Then you shingle on the radishes, sliced just as fine as you can so you can see the watery morning light through them.  These are two French breakfast radishes I just rooted from their beds.  One was imperfect – dented, stained, and  crooked – before it met the knife.  But when you take that first bite, your eyes closing with your teeth, you see that what seemed broken was actually whole all along.

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