“What do I know about man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” Samuel Beckett
There is nothing like the first harvest of garden radishes to herald summer. Although I don’t grow them myself, my neighbor Marty, a gifted organic gardener does and he generously shares the bounty of his impressive garden. Today, I came home with rosy, plump French radishes, pulled right out of the dirt! Radishes are best eaten raw without fuss, to let their crisp, peppery flavor shine through. In France they are enjoyed with a smear of butter and a sprinkling of fleur de sel, with or without bread. They are often featured on an open faced tartine over some fromage blanc.
To create this tartine, I sliced the radish super thin with a mandoline. For the fromage blanc spread, I mixed 1/4 cup of room temperature-cumbled feta with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, also at room temperature and blended it by hand until it was smooth and spreadable. To this I added a heaping tablespoon of fresh herbs from the garden, finely chopped. I used parsley and thyme but any herbs will do. I mixed in a half teaspoon of lemon zest.
With the great weather we’ve been having I prepared this outside in the garden, hence the dappled light in the photos. I smeared the cheese spread over a large slice of whole grain sourdough bread. This was seasoned with fresh cracked pepper and a couple of pinches of fleur de sel. The sliced radishes were placed on top of the cheese. So simple with the taste of summer in every bite. Makes an easy appetizer or a lunch sandwich.
For non-dairy diets, I made a tartine with mashed avocado and lemon. Equally good and it did not overpower the fresh radish taste. I mashed half an avocado with a fork, added a squeeze of lemon juice and a tablespoon of chopped herbs. Spread on the bread then sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and fleur de sel before layering the thin slices of radish on top.