Monday, January 07, 2008

R is for Radish with Comte Cheese

 
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“Can’t you DO something with the radishes? You didn’t exactly change them to make them taste any better”, said Freddie. This is true. Our previous effort, Radis au Beurre was delicious but the Radish was bare. They suffer from a rather limited public image: always the bridesmaid and never the bride. They are treated as a glorified garnish. In fact, did you know that on December 23rd each year in Oaxaca in Mexico, they hold a Radish Night where people compete to create the most elaborate radish sculptures? If you are a Mexican radish, La Noche de RĂ¡banos is bigger than the Oscars. In the months leading up to the big night, radishes are lovingly cultivated and fertilized to grow to huge proportions. They are then carved into animals, dancers, entire scenes from the Nativity. There is nothing the good people of Oaxaca can’t make with a radish.
But as Freddie and I discovered, it was Anne from Sweden who offered us a radish lifeline with a radish and cheese salad with a white balsamic vinegar dressing.
Here is her recipe - which is simple and delicious. The Comte cheese adds a caramel like taste to the dish which we served with salmon.
"Tell Anne" decreed Freddie after his first mouthful of radish and cheese, "Tell Anne, that her radish and cheese recipe is at least seven out of 10 and tastes really good."
He got up from the table and went over to the Naming and Shaming Fridge and shunted the humble radish up from the "I hate" category and into " I am not sure about this vegetable..." which is progress. It is easier to escape from Alcatraz than for a vegetable to leave Freddie's "I hate" category.
Our taste journey continues with the radish. We are always open to your ideas. And thank you Anne for your winning dish.

5 comments:

  1. Oh, good good good! That made me SO excited :)

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  2. Thanks for finding such a delicious radish recipe. Anyone wanting to grow their own may be interested in 'the grow your own radish card' produced by Farming Friends & TopVeg

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  3. Mmmmm. I've got some Comte in the fridge. I'll just have to try this!

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  4. This is a recipe we often use for mooli or big winter radishes but I don't see why you couldn't make a scaled down smaller quantity using salad radishes. Slice them thinly into rounds. Salt for the shorter time. You can rinse the salt off before squeezing if you're worried about the sodium content.

    This is a pleasant sweet and sour radish salad pickle for eating with rice or just as part of a mixed plate of salads with bread.

    1 large mooli or 750g radish*
    225g carrots**
    1.5 tsp salt
    125ml rice vinegar or cider vinegar
    2 tbsp castor sugar
    2 tsp soy sauce
    piece of kombu seaweed if you have it

    Peel the mooli or radishes and cut into rectangular blocks. Slice thinly to form very thin rectangles about 4x1 cm or make into matchstick slivers.
    Peel and slice the carrots to match.

    Place all the veg in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Leave for between 30 minutes and two hours to extract excess moisture. When the time
    is up drain off the liquid and then squeeze the veg with your hands until it is as dry as possible.

    Heat the vinegar in a saucepan and dissolve the sugar in it. Remove from heat and add soy sauce. Pour this mixture over the veg and mix well. Add the piece of kombu making sure it is buried in the salad.

    Leave the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve. This improves with keeping - don't serve for at least one hour and if you can wait one or two days it is even better. If serving with rice place a portion in a small bowl and garnish with sesame seed or finely shredded lemon or orange
    rind.

    * I have used large black spanish radish for this and also the larger growing continental red radishes. Both are excellent

    ** substitute a small raw beetroot for the carrot, it turns everything a beautiful pink colour

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  5. here is an idea for a recipe:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_32842,00.html

    i saw her make it on tv and it looked great.

    thanks for the wonderful idea! i am really enjoying the blog (have been following for a few weeks now). i made the broccoli-pesto-pasta and it was amazing.
    i think it's really a wonderful idea.

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