Some of the first bundles you see at the farmers markets in May are leafy greens. They are the easiest thing to cultivate in the hoop house and then move to the fields. Many greens can take the still-chilly overnight weather we have right now. We also are starting to see some pretty root vegetables too: beets carrots and radishes. Generally speaking the round red radishes are the ones you find at the grocery store, but at the farmers market you can find them in many shapes, sizes and colors.
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For me there is nothing better than taking a nice crisp radish, giving it a good rinse and then dipping it into a bit of kosher salt. The spiciness will vary from mild to tongue-tinging. The colors from white to purple and black, and the centers plain to striation. You can add them to salads and even braise them in butter. Look for firm, smooth tubers free from black spots. If using the leaves, which I do below, make sure they are firm and crisp. The best way to store them is wrapped in a paper towel, then a thin produce bag and in the ‘fridge crisper bin. You want them to have a little air, so they don’t get moist. Moisture will cause black spots, which are not good eats!
This week I went simple. I just wanted to taste them in their purest form in a sandwich. Previously I created a radish pesto using marcona almonds, but only had cashews in the cabinet, so I decided to update that recipe. Once I got the pesto made, which took all of five minutes, I got to building my sandwich. I am generally always cost conscious about my food buying, but I do splurge on things that are important to me: eggs, proteins and butter. I have basic butter for cooking and baking, but for bread spreading I use something a little nicer. If not from a farmers market, then either Kerrygold Irish Butter or Kate’s Homemade Butter. Both really delicious.
This one is another under 15 minute, instant gratification meal. Use a very sharp knife or mandoline to get your radishes paper thin.
You can easily make this with just butter and radish, but if you have some nice fresh radish greens go ahead and rock out this easy Radish Greens Pesto. It will be worth it for the extra flavor punch.