Last year, harvesting radishes on the farm was an experience not easily forgotten–the spicy roots pop out of the dirt with ease, while their prickly greens keep you and your nimble fingers on the alert. This year, riffling through magazines and books at the family cabin I found an old and weathered Gourmet magazine. All else stopped–I couldn’t hear the birds chirping, the gentle laps of the lake on sun-warmed rocks; no, it all went on mute. Gourmet reinforced my love for the beauty of food, the hearty rituals, the gathering of loved ones, the misty or bright landscapes of faraway lands, butchers who sing and islands for bees. The romance of mealtime. That loving food does not mean rejection or exclusion. That there is beauty in more than you can imagine. That radishes, butter and one select ingredient can get it right.
Radishes with Anchovy Butter
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, 2009
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted sweet cream butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon anchovy paste (or 4 anchovy fillets from a tin)
1 small garlic clove, minced and mashed against the cutting board
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 bunch breakfast radishes (small to medium radishes), washed and tails snipped off
Mix softened butter, anchovy paste, garlic paste and lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve alongside the radishes, which have been chopped, sliced or left whole as you prefer. Serves 4-6.