June Breakfast with Fleur de Sel on White Buttered Bread
And it even tastes better than it looks!
These little beauties are a pleasure to grow: four weeks from seeding and look at what is gracing my plate? When they are ready to be plucked, they bounce up out of the soil and wave at you! Seriously. The root is almost completely visible when they are ready.
Yes: French Breakfast Radishes do make a gorgeous centre piece, particularly first thing in the morning after shaking the earth free from them and bringing them into the house for an early morning treat. When I was a little girl, my mother used to rave about radishes, salt and butter on bread. “Oh, Valerie! There is nothing as delicious.” My immature palate thought she was crazy. I definitely could not relate. However, she is absolutely right. Her grandmother Hecht (Great Grandma Annie: I was terrified of her) used to pluck and scrub the radishes, slather homemade butter (I actually have the churn) on a thinly sliced, but hearty piece of homemade white and then overlap paper thin slices of radishes on top of the butter. “The butter with the bread and the crispy radishes was delicious, but the salt brought it all together: just a sprinkle.” I remember mom dipping raw radishes into a skiff of salt, too, with a sandwich.
This summer, every morning, usually around 6 am, I am out scouring my little garden. I pluck the invasive weeds, water the thirsty flowers, and talk to my tomatoes. Just before coming in, I check out the radishes. Which ones are jumping up and waving at me? Those are the ones I bring into the house and plunk into a glass of water to soak until I make my open faced breakfast sandwich. I usually don’t cut the bread into rounds, but I do plate them and take them back into the garden, with extra radishes on the side, to taste and savour and crunch and munch. The subtle heat, crispy texture and juicy bite with some really good butter on some really good bread (or toast) is simply divine. I am definitely my mother’s daughter.