Saturday, 18 July 2009
Of course, radishes are wonderful just on their own. We love them cut into quarters, placed in a bowl of ice-water to be served cold cold cold along side enchiladas, hamburgers, omelettes, grilled chops, etc. etc. They’re also excellent thinly sliced into coleslaw and potato salad. Not to mention how good they are in a green salad with a simple vinaigrette.
As soon as I read Jude’s (Apple Pie, Patis and Pâté) radish herb butter recipe I knew I had to try it. Foolishly, I put it off too long!! Because mixing finely sliced and julienned radishes into herbed butter and serving it on on French-style bread moves radishes into a whole new dimension.
Jude’s recipe calls for a LOT of butter and a LOT of radishes. And I just wanted to make a little appetizer. Not to mention that we didn’t really have enough mint and chives in the garden to make the full recipe. And our parsley plants are pathetically small still.
So I pared the recipe down drastically to use only one large radish. Here’s what I did:
Herbed Radish Butter
based on Jude’s (Apple Pie, Patis and Pate) radish herb butter; measurements are rather approximate; I just winged it
- 1 large radish
- splash fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft
- fresh mint leaves (a large sprig)
- fresh chives (~8 blades)
- fresh parsley leaves (a small sprig)
- seasalt and pepper
- Wash the radish well and trim the ends. Cut it in half and then thinly thinly thinly slice it. Turn the slices a quarter turn and julienne them. Add lemon juice to the radishes and set aside.
- Cream the butter with the back of a small wooden spoon.
- Chop herbs finely.
- Stir herbs, salt and pepper into the butter.
- As best you can, without breaking the radish pieces, stir radish into the butter.
Serve immediately with crusty bread. (Of course, it can be kept in the fridge for an hour or so before serving too.)
* Don’t worry if the radish isn’t completely encorporated into the butter. As long as there is butter in with the mix when spooning it onto the bread, it tastes fine. More than fine, actually.
I have no idea how Jude managed to completely encorporate the radish into the butter. However, it didn’t really matter. The flavour of this is fabulous! I particularly liked the hints of mint.
It’s probably because I didn’t really measure the ingredients so perhaps I used a little more radish than could be fit into the amount of butter I used. But ignore the fact that it looks a little more like radish salad than radish butter. Just make it. It’s fantastic.
Many thanks, Jude, for this wonderful concoction! (Next time, I’m making more! …even if I have to buy some parsley!! We went through the “one radish” version in no time.)
I had a little difficulty deciding which herb to focus on for this week’s WHB: mint, chives or parsley. But as I focussed on the flavour of the radish butter, I tried to think which of the herbs was irreplaceable. Parsley is nice but I’m not sure it HAS to be there. In fact, I used so little that I’m not even sure if it didn’t get lost entirely. Chives could be replaced by a little finely sliced shallots or onion. And mint? There’s nothing like mint.
And suddenly it was clear which herb to feature: Mint. Obviously: mint.
Growing with such abandon that they need occasional restraining, some mints are distinctly pushy plants, moving in on neighbours by surface runners or underground rhizomes. A few, however, are worth growing in corners of the garden where they will not menace other things. [...] Mints are the easiest plants to propagate – and, in fact, are more likely to need curbing. [...] Gardeners go to great lengths to confine mints [...] planting in containers of all sorts. Wooden wine-barrel halves are my choice for mints and most other herbs because they are not pourous like clay, so far less watering is required [...] A half-barrel will grow three species of mint comfortably.
-Patrick Lima, Harrowsmith Illustrated Book of Herbs, p.90, 94
I, on the other hand, have done nothing to try to confine our mint. We have regular mint – I think it’s Mentha arvensis – in three different spots of the garden (ginger mint is in two other places) and to our chagrin, the mint just doesn’t seem to want to take over. Certainly not nearly enough for our taste. Because we never have enough mint!
It is a required ingredient for our iced tea as well as being great in chutney, Thai curry, meat patties with mint (how is it possible that I HAVEN’T posted about those?!) to be served with rice and dahl, pesto, as a garnish for Mjdarra, with Fondue Chinoise etc., etc.
Please read more about mint:
- Previous WHB posts featuring mint:
* mint pesto (WHB#28)
* Too much mint? Impossible! (Mint/Coriander Chutney; WHB#34)
* ISO mishti doi (SiR III)(srikund; WHB#37)
- Richters – Success With Mints
- Gernot Katzer’s Spice pages – mint
- Plants for a Future – mint
:: Mentha arvensis (Field Mint, Wild Mint or Corn Mint)
This week’s WHB host is Lynne (Cafe Lynnlu). The deadline for entering WHB#192 is Sunday 19 July 2009 at 15:00, Utah time (GMT-7). For complete details on how to participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, please see the following:
edit: See the delicious WHB#192 roundup!