Mmm, spring is in the air! Everything's blooming (I'm sure Allegra sales have sky-rocketed this week), the birds are out chirping and Sacramentans are dusting off their gardening tools and getting to work on their spring gardens. Look at these beauties that have opened their sleepy little heads around my cottage....
What better way to welcome the first day of spring (which comes early this year- March 20), then to put together a crisp, vibrant lunch of radish tartines? One of the reasons I love radishes so much is that they're so easy to work with, you don't have to dress them up much to make them into a fab meal. Check out these cute, peppery gems I found this weekend. They're almost too pretty to eat...almost. Now the trick with this dish is to pick a mild type of radish and don't skimp on the quality of the butter.
Side note: Don't throw away your radish greens, people! They're edible- save them for dinner and sauté them up with some onions, garlic and olive oil or throw them into a soup, the same way you would chard or spinach.
French baguette, sliced
Fresh radishes, washed, dried and ends removed
European-style butter (like Plugrá), unsalted, room-temperature
Fleur de sel or a good-quality sea salt
Now I know you all know how to make an open-faced sandwich, but just for kicks:
1. First start with your bread, you can go toasted or untoasted- it's up to you. I prefer lightly toasted.
2. Lavishly slather the softened butter onto your baguette slice. Forget about that bikini you're hoping to fit into in June, treat yourself and get a nice big decadent swipe o' butter on there.
3. Sprinkle on a bit of fleur de sel.
4. Then gently lay a few slices of radish on top.
5. Find a sunny spot to eat. Plop down and relish those fresh radishes. You can even greet passing neighbors in French, if you're feeling sassy and really want to get into it.
Tip: These also make great appetizers for a party. For some variety you can sub goat cheese for the butter and garnish the radishes with minced chives.