There is a time every year, when I’ve read one too many depressing pretentious books by hot young authors, that I put them all away with a dissatisfied grumble and allow myself to drift off in a series of what I call “French food memoirs.” Typically penned by Americans or Brits living in France or remembering France, they hit just the right combination of bittersweet memories and mouthwatering recipes, and always, always I want to never reach the last page.
One of the first such books that I loosely grouped into “French food memoirs,” is Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. There’s a short chapter about the early stages of love and eating radishes with butter on toast. At the time, I’d probably never had a radish that wasn’t cut into an underwhelming salad, and I promptly went off to the store to try this supposedly simple, perfect meal.
No doubt it was good, but as I ate them, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would work to saute the radishes in said butter, then serve on a toasted baguette. As it turns out, it was good, very good, and has become one of our go to lazy morning meals as well as an interesting treat we make for guests.
A few tips:
Leave the greens on while slicing the radishes; it makes it easier to stabilize them as you slice and will help prevent a slip of the knife as the end tapers off.
Use a large pan or saute in several batches. If you overcrowd the radish slices, they are more likely to steam instead of brown.
Cook the radish greens for a tasty addition, but beware, they like to hang on to their grit. To get them really clean, float them in a bowl of cool water once you’ve separated them from the radishes. Every few minutes give them a little swish with your hand, and the grit will loosen up and sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Fresh baguette is great, though we like to eat them on sliced and toasted semolina bread, with a fried or poached egg and fresh fruit on the side.