Thursday, April 19, 2012
For Love of the French Breakfast Radish
Yes, I know. Sounds like an ode to a radish.
As a general rule I am not a radish lover. Those round little red balls you see in the grocery store have always had just a bit too much bite for my taste. And then I discovered the French Breakfast Radish.
I planted them for the first time last year in one of my raised beds. I was so taken with their mild flavor that this year I planted them in two raised beds. Needless to say, we are being overrun with French Breakfast Radishes.
While we just enjoy them raw, I was astounded by the ways upscale chefs have found to prepare this yummy little root veg.
Butter Poached Radishes, French Breakfast Radish Sandwich, French Breakfast Radish Salad, as part of a Veggie Spread, sauteed in butter, raw split down the middle and salted, as an hors d'oeuvre, as a garnish, as a snack...it's all good as far as I'm concerned.
The French Breakfast Radish is an heirloom radish from 1879. While most records are not positive about the naming of this little red and white gem, it's widely believed it stems from a French custom of slicing the mildly flavored radish and putting it on a slice of buttered bread with a dash of salt on top. Who knows if that's true or not. I can't find any actual evidence, just speculation.
I can tell you they are delicious, easy to grow, and versatile. It's not too late to get this beauty in the ground for spring planting. The seeds germinate really fast.