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Romancing the Radish

I’m not a great photographer, but I love this photo I took from a marketplace near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I consider it one of my best (and that isn’t saying much I know). I also happen to love radishes, which probably puts me in a small category. Give me some radishes, butter, sea salt and baguette and I will be transported to the sights, smells and tastes of Paris – memories I will always treasure. I like to think of those times when life throws a series of curve balls at me. Right now I’m batting whatever “pretty badly” is so if a Parisian fantasy floats my boat then so be it.

Radishes make for a lovely tartine, which to you non-Francophiles is an open-faced sandwich with a rich or fancy spread (according to the Free Dictionary). Tartines are an easy, creative, and satisfying option for hors d’oeuvres. Made with good bread and fresh ingredients, they are simply perfect. This tartine recipe showcases the radish nicely, but if you prefer to ease into the radish experience – try this new potato salad recipe from one of my favorite food blogs Smitten Kitchen – http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/05/spring-salad-with-new-potatoes/. The radish isn’t the star of this dish just a supporting player. Either way, why not try something new? And click here to find a wine pairing for radishes as well.

Mini Radish, Ricotta and Green Onion Tartines

Makes about 16 appetizer/bite sized tartines 

1 batch fresh ricotta OR 1/2 cup premade ricotta

For the Tartines

  • 8 slices Pain au Levain or other rustic bread
  • 4 tbsps butter, at room temperature
  • 1 small bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • sea salt
 

Using cookie cutter, cut out circles from bread slices (save trimmings for breadcrumbs). Place bread circles on cookie sheet and place under broiler until lightly toasted on both sides. Remove from broiler and spread each circle with a little butter. Place a heaped teaspoon of ricotta on each toast circle and arrange radish slices on top. Sprinkle each with a liberal amount of green onions and sprinkle with sea salt. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice and serve with a glass of wine and extra sea salt to taste.

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