Spring Radish Toast

Spring brings a multitude of fresh vegetables and one of my favorites is spicy radishes.  As a snack, on a salad or in this simple recipe, the crunch and sharp bite are something I crave!  Here, they are the star of the show and a different preparation than you may have tried.  I know you’ll love it as much as I do though!

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SPRING RADISH TOAST

Ingredients

  • French Country White Bread or Baguette
  • 8-10 Spring Radishes
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • Fleur de Sel

Instructions

  • Cut bread into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Place on a baking sheet and toast lightly under a broiler.
  • Remove from oven when light golden brown and allow to cool.
  • Wash, trim and slice radishes into 1/4-inch slices.  Set aside.
  • Use a knife or spatula to spread a visible layer of butter on each toast.  You’ll want the toast cool so the butter doesn’t melt.
  • Arrange radish slices in a single layer on top of each slice.
  • Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve immediately.

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There’s just something about the crusty bread, creamy butter, spicy crisp radishes and crunchy salt that makes the perfect bite!  This is a wonderful appetizer or finger sandwich for a shower or party.  Elegant and rustic at the same time, you’ll want to make them again and again.  Dig in!

Quick Pickled Veggies

We wait and wait all year for our gardens to mature and the farmers markets to yield summer’s biggest bounty and then all of sudden – it’s time!!  It only lasts a little while in our part of the country and we have to take advantage of all the fresh produce while we can.  When you have a ton of veggies, try making quick pickles for a twist on grilled, baked, broiled, fried and sautéed garden treats!  There’s endless possibilities and a super easy process for you to start from.  Below are three of my favorites – the ingredients are slightly different for each, but the process is exactly the same for all three.

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SWEET PICKLED ONIONS & RADISHES

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion Sliced
  • 8 Radishes – 1/4 Inch Slices
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tsp Pickling Spices

GARLIC DILL PICKLES

Ingredients

  • 8 Small Cucumbers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 4 Large Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Slightly Crushed
  • 1 Small Bunch Fresh Dill
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

PICKLED BANANA & SERRANO PEPPERS

Ingredients

  • 6 Banana Peppers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 8 Serrano Peppers – 1/2 Inch Slices
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pickling Spices

Instructions (For All 3 Varieties)

  • Place sliced vegetables into a wide-mouth quart-size canning jar or similar container.
  • In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Salt and sugar should be dissolved and you’ll smell the spices.
  • Allow mixture to cool slightly – about 10 minutes.  Then pour mixture over veggies in the jar.
  • If there is not enough liquid to cover veggies, add a few ice cubes to fill the rest of the space.  It will also help with the cooling process.
  • Allow jars to cool for 20 minutes.  Then screw on lids and place in the refridgerator for at least 24 hours.
  • Eat and enjoy for up to two weeks.

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Again, this process is basic and easy to execute.  You can buy pickling spice in several markets, but I love the mixture from Penzey’s Spices.  Click on the link to check it out along with their huge selection.  Can’t find pickling spice?  Try using a combination of bay leaf, mustard seed, coriander seed, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, peppercorns, and cardamom.  As I said before, you can use all kinds of flavor combinations depending on your preference.  Some of you will probably want more salt in each of these recipes, but give it a try and let me know how it goes.

These recipes are great for veggies to top your salads, on sandwiches or as accompaniments to a great charcuterie and cheese plate.  Heck, just snack on them with a few cold beers – how could you go wrong??  Good luck, enjoy summer’s bounty and happy pickling!!