Radish madness

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What’s round, crunchy, salty, and excellent for snacking? Potato chips, obviously, but why limit yourself? For the last year or so, here at Chez Marthe, radishes have been a snack food of choice. It sounds like one of those healthy eating lies. Fat free yogurt is not as good melting into black bean soup as sour cream. Portobello mushrooms, though delicious, don’t really taste like steak at all. But a radish, sliced into crimson-rimmed coins and dipped in your best sea salt, have all the makings of a healthy snack for the ages.
I read once about a scientific study about why we like noisy, crunchy foods. If I recall correctly, they tested corn chips. Apparently, we love the violence of the sound, the louder the better. A cold, fresh radish crunched between the teeth certainly meets those criteria. And while they may not taste like cool ranch, when their natural pepperiness is augmented with salt, they are anything but bland.
If you’re feeling a little indulgent, radishes and salt served with generously buttered bread and a glass of Sancerre makes for one of my favorite cocktail hour treats. Or if it’s already time for dinner, I like to cut the radishes into wedges and toss them with raw sugar snaps or blanched green beans, mesclun, and sherry vinaigrette for an excellent accompaniment to Tejal’s Oeurves en Cocotte.
I also love these rosy beauties julienned in with the cabbage for fish tacos, topping sesame noodles, or tossed into spicy stir-fries at the very last minute. I stir thin-sliced radishes and apples into chicken salad and diced ones into couscous with currants, almonds, and herbs. Still, no matter what I use them for, I always slice off a few fat disks and sprinkle them lightly with salt. I’m always in the mood for a snack.

Posted in Food, Tasty Ponderings
5 comments on “Radish madness
  1. tejal says:

    I LOVE radishes with salt on buttered bread, it used to be on my repertoire of kid friendly snacks when I came home from school hyper and hungry.
    I would never have thought of sexing it up with a glass of sancerre–that sounds lovely.

  2. Whitney says:

    Hmm! This is an interesting idea! I am on the lookout for not-so-bad-for-me treats that aren’t carrots or celery, because I’m kind of bored and I always end up dipping those into , like, bleu cheese anyway.

  3. tejal says:

    I also like carrots with lemon juice dipped in hummus–or apple slices dipped in peanut butter. That’s semi healthy…

  4. Whitney says:

    Mmm, I love carrots and hummus! That was one of those late-night ‘what do I still have in the fridge’ snacks that ended up being much better than I expected. Celery and hummus is also good, but not quite as so.
    But, really, it’s hard to go wrong with a good hummus…

  5. tejal says:

    for real. Glyn’s parents brought some from Israel a few months ago–so good. Though I’m sure you get better hummus in NY than I do here.

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