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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Easter Egg Radishes

Yes, you read correctly. If you shop in an upscale store or at a farmer’s market, you may have noticed bunches of radishes that are anything but red. Obviously they get their name because they look like a bunch of colored Easter Eggs.

It was probably 25 years ago when we found the first Easter Egg Radishes. The grower presented us with bunches of radishes in pinks, purples and whites, and we went crazy. Not only is the name adorable, but the presentation of these multi-colored radishes is a conversation piece.

It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen increasing supplies of these radishes, which are grown primarily in the Santa Maria area of Southern California. Our longtime friends at Babé Farms (a family-owned farm) have developed quite a following for their specialty vegetables.

As with most specialties, there are always challenges in growing. If it’s too cold, the radishes don’t grow fast. If it gets too hot, the green tops get “burned” and may turn yellow or brown. (Even though you don’t eat the tops, having green tops makes a nice retail display.)

I personally love the taste of radishes, and so does Frieda! (Actually, every week, she purchases 1 to 2 bunches so she can munch on them or add to salads.)

One of my coworkers, Mary, shared a delightful recipe with me using radishes as part of an appetizer. (She tells me it is a very traditional French way of eating radishes.)

Buy a fresh French baguette. Cut into individual slices -- on the diagonal if you like. Butter each slice with high quality unsalted Butter (I love Irish butter). Then, arrange a few slices of freshly washed and thinly sliced radishes on top. Sprinkle lightly with a high quality sea salt (Fleur de Sel). Of course, I say anything with bread and butter involved is fantastic!

Enjoy!
Karen

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