A classic French snack of just 4 ingredients that is a surprisingly delicious, elegant lunch or snack treat that takes 5 minutes to make!
While this technically is a recipe as it’s a list of ingredients and a set of steps to create a result, it’s probably the EASIEST thing you’ll ever “make”.
Radishes are one of those vegetables that rarely get the limelight. Most think of them as that added bit of extra heat or color that’s on a salad bar. Well, I’m here to show you that radishes are incredible and are a true showstopper!
We were fancy and didn’t know it!This dish is something I grew up eating however it wasn’t until 9th-grade French class did I find out that this was actually a classic French snack.
Growing up on 41 acres we grew almost all of our fruits and vegetables. Radishes were always in our garden. My job was to pluck them from the soil, shake ’em clean and hand them over to Mom.
Being as picky as I was, I refused to try them as they weren’t potatoes or corn. But then my Mom brought out the bread and butter (she knew my weakness) and it was all she wrote!
By toasting up fresh bread, slathering on creamy butter, topping it with a few slices of radishes, and finishing with salt, I was introduced to one of the best snacks ever!
Ingredients needed to make this AMAZING snack
- 1 bunch French Breakfast Radishes, washed and leaves/roots removed *Save the leaves – see below!
- 1 stick European butter, unsalted *you can use regular butter but the European butter has a more rich flavor
- Finishing Salt Flakes or Fleur de Sel
- Toasted baguette or rustic bread slices
If your store doesn’t carry those radishes, you can order them online using the link above or use another radish variety.
For years I only ever knew about those round, red radishes with leafy green tops. It wasn’t until later on when ingredients became more readily available and I was in more of a commercial food setting did I become educated on the wide variety of radishes.
Most of us equate those “common” radishes with heat or a bite. Those do work in this recipe but honestly, my favorite to use are French Breakfast Radishes.
My friends from Melissa’s Produce sent me recently a box of produce to sample of which included were these radishes.
French breakfast radishes are milder in flavor and almost sweet. They definitely don’t have that heat punch we’re used to. They are perfect in this recipe.
Not all salts are the same
I’m sure most of you have heard of Finishing Salt Flakes or Fleur de Sel and Maldon Sea Salt. These are drastically different than Kosher or regular table (iodized salt). While Mom only ever used iodized (as that’s all we had), trust me when I say that you really don’t want to use that in this recipe.
Invest in quality salt. Both Finishing Salt Flakes, Fleur de Sel, and Maldon Sea Salt are what’s known as “Finishing salts”. They are put on right before serving a dish to add that last bit of flavor elevation of a bright and clean profile.
While most folks use them interchangeably, they are different.
- Fleur de Sel is bright and oceanic. It’s “moist” in the sense that the flakes stick together a bit. This keeps the salt from dissolving instantly on the tongue which allows the flavor to be more long-lasting. It also has a more grayish hue due to the minerals in the ocean(s) it’s harvested from.
- Maldon Sea Salt is dry. Thus when it hits the tongue, it tends to melt faster. This salt is also stark white like regular salt due to how it’s processed.
In my pics, my salt looks white but it’s actually more of a light gray in person.
However, if all you have is Maldon Sea Salt, you can most certainly use this in the recipe!
How to make Toasted Bread Slices (crostini)
You can use any baguette or rustic country bread.
- Slice the bread on an angle to get elongated slices.
- Brush one side lightly with olive oil and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the bread at 400F for 6-8 minutes or until the tops start to toast lightly.
- Remove from the oven, brush the other side with the remaining oil and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven when done.
The bread should be toasted but not super hard.
Presentation/Assembling your toast
Now if you’ve never had this before OR your guests haven’t either, I find it easier to make a few up, place it on a tray and leave the rest set up on a board for folks to make themselves. I find it to be prettier and more elegant.
However, it’s totally OK if you want to make them all up ahead of time but I would not add the salt until right before serving.
- Liberally spread on the butter to each slice of toast
- Garnish with a few slices of radishes
- Finish with a sprinkling of fleur de sel
Uses for Radish Leaves
I was taught at a very young age to waste as little as possible. Radish leaves are not only delicious, but they are also good for you!
- Clean the leaves and toss them in a pan coated with olive oil. Saute them with garlic, salt, pepper as a great greens side dish.
- Pesto – just swap out basil leaves for the radish top leaves.
- Chimichurri – swap the cilantro for radish greens.
- In a salad – these are great mixed in with arugula and a spring mix. I personally like it with a dijon vinaigrette.
- Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the radishes into long, thin slices.
- To the top of each slice of toast, spread on a layer of butter, top with radish slices and sprinkle with Fleur de Del.
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