Growing up in France there I must say that we love our Radishes. Those little red, red and white little roots are nuggets of pure pleasure. They represent in many ways the start of sunny days, of Spring and Summer.
In my family the Radishes were serve very simply, once washed they were put on a middle of the table in a Salad bowl, not trimmed apart for the litte root tip. The reason to keep the green leaves on top was to hold the Radish to make it easier to dip but also to know when we did reach the end of that treat. The reason behind the cutting of the root tip, which was very minimal was to cut a little cross at the bottom of the Radish which will allow the tip to get more flavours attached to it from any dip used.
Commom French Radishes, another is elongated in shape but still red and white.
The dips around the table to serve with the Salad bowl of Radishes were fairly simple. It consisted first of a plate, a little bowl of good Sea Salt. The Radish would be dipped in the Salt first. The choice of the Salt there is part of the pleasure, so it mustn't be Table Salt, it must be one that reminds you of the flavours of the sea. My favourite nowadays is Maldon Smoked Sea Salt, but I also like a lot Sea Salt from Cornwall which could have added elements to it like Seaweed.
Smoked Sea Salt from Maldon, a company established since 1882.
It is nice to have a choice of dips to choose from. For us it was mainly a Butter dipping. Chopped Parsley could be mixed within the Butter dip. Then comes a Creme Fraiche dip spicked with chopped Chives and a little Lemon Juice to get some notes of acidity. Then for the last dip you can consider mixing some Dark Soy Sauce which is rich deep and sweet in flavour, a drop of Fish Sauce for saltiness, a drop of Oyster Sauce for added sweetness but also consistancy, a little Sesame Oil, mixed togeter, add a pinch of Sesame Seeds, one very finely chopped Spring Onion, and a pinch of Chilli Flakes.
Alternatively you can give a milder kick to that dip by forgetting the Chilli Flakes and putting a whole dried small Chilli in there insted. Those are from a variety called Zimbabwe Black who are black until they mature to a deep red. They are from my Garden. We always preserve some of our harvest by drying the Chillies like that we have Chillies all year round.
Then it is a simple sharing feast where everyone sits around a table to chat and relax. Speaking about the taste of the Radish, it has a welcomed pepperiness which makes it perfect to eat on its own with dips but also to be an added ingedient to Salads when you need that extra flavour. Also the vibrant colour of the Radish gives that notes of decoration to a Salad.
Raddichio and Potato Salad with Radishes. This is a Salad vibrant with Colours. The Raddichio provide a sweet spicyness, the Baby Potatoes that sweet and floury nutty flavour and the Radishes the peppery bite. This Salad is an all rounder. With a Dressing made with Whole Grain Mustard added and a few Capers for decoration as well and saltiness.
The texture of a Radish along with its taste and vibrant colours does enhance the pleasure of eating one. It is 'Croquant', Crunchy, you bite into a Radish and it gives you that bite back within your palate. It is well nice.
Now there is not Radish to talk about because there are many the Mooli for example, which is also called Daikon, the Horseradish, and Japanese Radish (a Far East cousin of the Horseradish) called Wasabi. If you want to explore more with me about the world of Radishes I will enjoin you to read the pages below which in the near future we spek in details and give you ideas of recipes for all of them.