I never really liked radishes. So bitter and hot! Yes, even the French Breakfast radishes I planted this year. So why do I plant them at all? Well, they’re incredibly easy and incredibly fast (turnaround time can be as little as a few weeks). They also grow early enough in the season that you can have a whole radish harvest finished off by the time you want to plant something more desirable in the same spot. So I plant them. And at first I’m all excited, because they’re so cute!
But then I pull them up and eat one, and it’s a big ouchie in my mouth. Yet, still they seduce me. Dutifully, I pull up the lot, bring them home, and scrub them until they look quite scintillating:
Scintillating, but rather useless to me. Until now, that is. Because now I have discovered the secret of the radish. And of course, it was the French who knew the secret all along.
Open-face radish sandwiches with lots of butter and ground sea salt! My, but they’re good. I don’t know how it happens, but the radish slices lose their bitter-hot punch and become mild and delightful (but still with that great crunch). Is it the salt? The butter? The exposure to air on the surface of the slices? What chemical reactions are going on, I wonder, that transform this beast of a vegetable into a charming and elegant ingredient? Whatever it is, I love it. Those French, man, they know what’s what.