I have been reminiscing about Paris lately. It has been three years this week that I met my daughter over in Paris for a ten day food adventure. It was like a dream, walking through the beautiful farmers markets, antique book stores, and having our morning espresso and croissant watching the Parisians going about their day.
I appreciate how the French approach life, but I especially appreciate how they approach food. "The French don't talk about "diets". Social time is spent talking about family, hobbies, philosophy, politics, culture, and yes, food, especially food (but never diets). They take pleasure in staying thin by eating well, Americans typically see it as a conflict and obsess about it. The French have two or three courses at lunch and then another three(sometimes four) at dinner. They eat with their heads, and they do not leave the table feeling stuffed or guilty." Mireille Guiliano French Women Don't Get Fat. Learning that less can be more and discovering how one can eat everything in moderation are keys. They take the very best ingredients and elevate them to a new level.
Radishes with butter and salt is one of those things. The idea of this seemed strange to me until I had tried it, and then I understood. It's so simple yet so delicious. This simple snack is what French children would be given when they came home from school. The perfect little bite to satisfy hunger until dinner.
These radishes are the handiest of snacks for the table. I just put out a plate of them with butter on the side. You could also collect the tops and use them as a simple salad tossed with a vinaigrette. You might try slicing both roots and leaves for a stir-fry, or saute them in butter.
The beloved Julia Child was quoted as saying "that the best way to eat a radish is with butter on it!" Well, who is to argue.
French Radishes with Butter and Spiced Salt
French (breakfast) radishes, washed well
unsalted, softened European style butter (if possible)
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. pink peppercorns
1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
1 cup kosher salt
For the Spiced Salt:
Using a clean coffee grinder or mortal and pestle, grind or crush peppercorns until they are a fine powder. Mix pepper with kosher salt. Store in an airtight container away from light and heat.
To serve spread some softened butter and a sprinkling of spiced salt on the radishes. Enjoy!
A little walk down memory lane with my girl....