Seeing that I had no Valentine’s Day plans to speak of I was grateful to at least have this blog to keep me busy over the weekend…
I spent the better part of Saturday trolling Cleveland’s West Side Market – a kind of Midwest food Mecca – seeking inspiration. You can find everything there – more pork products than one could consume in a lifetime, local cheeses, gyros, smokies, baked goods, pasta – there’s even a creperie. As I perused the fresh produce I picked up a bushel of radishes for the cool price of $1 and knew what I’d be making come Sunday. Hillary and I were discussing Ina Garten’s radishes with salt and butter the other day and I thought it time to give it a try.
Things I picked up at the market (to be used in this recipe):
1 fresh baguette
1 bunch radishes
Lots of fresh herbs – tarragon, dill, Italian flat leaf parsley and chives
2 large shallotsAlso needed:
Butter (1/2 – 1 lb depending on how much herb butter you want to make)
Good sea salt & pepper
Being that the only thing I had to do on Sunday was to make herb butter I decided to make LOTS of herb butter.
I started with Ina’s recipe – bring the following together and mix, don’t whip, until it’s well incorporated.
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot (Ina calls for scallion, I used shallot)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & pinch of pepper
For my next batch I made tarragon and chive butter – I mean, how good will that be with eggs? I used parchment paper to roll the butter into log form to be stored and enjoyed in the (near) future.Once I had my fun mixing up various butters I assembled the butter, salt n’radishes. I sliced the radishes thin and placed two atop a piece of lightly toasted baguette that was smothered with herb butter. I then sprinkled a good bit of salt on top.
Goodness! The peppery, watery radish accompanies the salty, silky butter and punch of fresh herbs so well – it’s positively luscious.
To round out the salty smorgasbord I cut up a little parmigiano and sprinkled salt and olive oil over fresh mozzarella… and what’s that in the corner? A little prosciutto? I couldn’t help myself…Side note: while discussing starting this very blog over a charcuterie plate at Eataly this fall Hillary and I discovered a wonderful thing. Accompanying the heaps of meat and cheese was a heavenly almond honey – as you can see above I tried to recreate – not quite as good as Batali’s but it was close. I simply combined a little amaretto liqueur, honey, and sliced almond. The combination of the honey with the salty, nutty parm is divine.
So… the next time you’re feeling like a little salt, or just a little salty, I strongly urge you to give these a try.