by Malcolm Jolley
The radish is one of the few vegetables that does not take to cooking. The tops, maybe – as a kind of super mustardy cime di rapa. But on the whole, why would anyone want to wilt the crisp crunch of the red skinned, white fleshed brassica that signals the end of spring and beginning of sultry summer?
The best sauce for radish is nothing, of course. Just chomped on whole, standing up in the kitchen, enjoying the rush of pepper up the backside of the nose. They must be firm and juicy – just picked. This year the ones I’ve had are little milder than usual, probably from all that spring rain.
Of course, la façon classique is with good butter and salt. I like the Whey Butter from Stirling Dairy in Tweed with Maldon salt, myself. And serving radishes, whole or cut to bite size, with butter and salt is wonderful way to absorb a bottle of rosé at the beginning of a dinner party, but I’ve also found a Tuesday lunch with a glass of cold mik version: the radish and butter sandwich. Good bread spread with good butter and covered in slices of radish sprinkled with salt. Add another slice if you like. That’s it. Radishes, unlike most other things, are not complicated.