The air outside hit 70 degrees today on the island.

We woke up to birdsong filling the space of the open window. We rubbed our eyes and listened to Little Bean’s squeals of giggles through the monitor. What used to be an unthinkably early hour is now our waking, thanks to that little one. Since it’s spring, we open our eyes to full sunlight streaming down on us. This afternoon we joked that we should wear sunscreen to bed. And after I went into Little Bean’s room, and smiled when she lifted her arms toward me, I carried her into our room to cuddle. That’s when I looked out the window and saw it. The cherry tree had exploded overnight into a dreamy white profusion of blossom and sky.

A few moments later, Danny lifted her as high toward that sky as he could reach, so she could experience the cherry tree, in that moment.

Later, we walked down the beach, our feet moving side to side (sometimes nimbly) on the barnacle-encrusted rocks as we talked. Little Bean rode on my back, snug in her carrier, looking out at the water, watching. No one else was there, except the unexpected waves from a big container ship slapping the shore. By the time they reached us, the ship had slipped out of view and trudged forward toward China.

The sun felt good on our skin, after this long winter.

We didn’t bring any food. This surprises me now. It was perfect picnic weather. If I had thought ahead, I would have brought radishes, in small slivers. In a bag at my side, I would have carried slices of crusty (gf) bread, creamy butter (French, or the one we make at home), and some sea salt. I would have sat down on a piece of driftwood, spread butter on bread, radishes on butter, and crunched the sea salt on top. And then I would have looked up into the sky, and seen the halo of the sun around Danny’s head as I handed him the snack.

Today was heaven.

But maybe tomorrow I’ll remember the radishes.

And you? How do you like to eat radishes?

p.s. I was deeply honored that the fabulously talented Paige Orloff asked me to be part of the Sister Project, and featured me in an interview and gallery of photos about what sisterhood means to me.

Come on over and take a look.

38 comments on “radishes

  1. Anonymous

    Oh YES! Radishes on butter on bread, with salt. Sliced thick, heaped high, open faced. Nothing better than that for me.

    This goes way back to my childhood, from my mother, with little red globes sharp and fresh from our garden.

    The sweetest radishes I ever ate were in Germany, with thick Turkish bread from a little store down the street from our hostel. Friends teased me about my radish habit, but I stood firm.

    Kris in VA

  2. Julie Reinhardt

    Our cherry tree did that very same explosion of blossoms last night. I took my little one out today in the sunshine and we sat underneath the tree taking it all in.

  3. Rachel

    Yesterday I thinly sliced bread and toated it to a cracker crispness. Spread a moderate layer of hummus on top and then layered radish slices like you would fruit in a fancy tart. It was wonderful.

  4. CatherineMarie

    Since ‘spring’ in CT is often dreary, cold, windy, rainy…I steam them, with a bit of butter and salt. The leaves go wonderfully in sandwiches, a little cream cheese on a g-f wrap, or with a walnut or gf oat bread…

  5. mnms

    I like radishes sliced inside street tacos. Squeeze a little lime in there and add cilantro. Mmmm.

  6. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

    I love radishes but have yet to find a recipe that makes me happy with them. They are just so beautiful so I always buy them. Pickling seems to work for me.

    I always love the pictures you paint with your writing.

  7. Zoomie

    Radishes in salads, radishes with butter and salt (I usually skip the bread). Sometimes I buy radishes just because they are so pretty and leave them in my fruit bowl for a day or two to admire.

  8. jbeach

    As much as I’ve read about these butter radish sandwiches with good French butter and bread, I’ve yet to try it. I have a beautiful loaf of Pugliese in my kitchen; I’m going to try this tonight!!
    I love radishes in salad and also alongside baby bok choy and slivered snow peas in the soba noodle salad on Orangette’s site.

    Beautiful scene description. You’re a gem of a writer because you make the words come alive. We can tell you feel them. Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. Crystal

    I’ve never heard of radishes on bread and butter! We’ll try that this spring for sure….. salt, always. Sometimes tossed with lime juice, even more rarely cooked with a tiny bit of water and sugar (they’re milder then…. almost like turnips, but a loely shade of pink.)

    Have you had black radishes? We grew them one year and were surprised at how different their flavor is….

  10. Mel in Mo

    Radish sandwiches are my mom’s fav! I hadn’t thought about that in years….. Thanks so much for the wonderful memory! I grew up in Tacoma and I remember the cherry blossoms, and the dogwood’s! I live in Missouri, now and I think the dogwood tree’s are the most beautiful they have ever been this year. Maybe it was the LONG COLD winter they followed!

  11. La Niña

    Radishes in a salad with green beans, basil and Locatelli Romano cheese curls in a balsamic vinaigrette.

    Today is another summer-like day, then we go back to the fifties. That is spring in the Northwest.

    I took a long walk on the beach on the island yesterday before heading to the city. The otters were playing, and I got my “daily dose of minerals.” (found a really nice agate… it doesn’t taste good on bread with butter, but it sure makes me happy.)

  12. danamccauley

    I’m just getting ready to plant my radish seeds – will be a few weeks yet. This year I’m going to grow German black radishes that I hear are great with salt and butter and pint of beer. I’ll let you know how that goes in late June!

  13. caroline

    I wish I had the luxury of waking up to sun streaming through my window every day! At least the days are getting longer so I’m not getting ready for work in pitch darkness.

    I usually eat radishes plain, with salt, though they are not bad on salads either.

  14. Lisa

    I thought my Mom was the only one that made butter and radish sandwiches! That is great to know it is other people’s childhood favorite. And yes, I agree too that radishes are beautiful!

  15. Sarah DeVries

    Mmmm, all your ideas sound great, but I have always loved radishes fresh from the garden, dipped in plain mayonnaise and crunched off the stem… Yummm!

  16. Lora

    I like to eat radishes plain, with a little salt. I tried a recipe a couple years ago for roasted radishes and it was all wrong. They are supposed to be eaten raw, with salt!

  17. The Wooden Spool

    Radishes! Loaded with vitamin C, low carb….great with a Cobb Salad and fresh baby cherry tomatoes….yummy! YUMMY!
    Hope you are settling into your new home and beautiful island! Best wishes,

  18. Lisa

    Radishes sliced thin and tossed in fresh squeezed lemon juice w/ sea salt and a touch of freshly ground black pepper.

    Wonderful as a snack, side-dish, or as an add-in to a salad of fresh greens.

  19. amanda

    I like to eat radishes just as they come, like crunchy little apricots. I also had a Korean friend once who used to make the most wonderful pickled white radishes (the ones that look a bit like oversized white carrots). I have never been able to replicate it, but I can still remember the strange and wonderful flavour.

  20. sonia sin gluten

    That healthy and healthy.

    Thank you very much for spreading the food without gluten

    Sonia gluten Free

  21. Julie

    Pulled out of the ground and wiped on my pants! Still a little gritty in my teeth.

    On buttered bread is pretty fantastic too.

  22. Recipe man

    i love a good radish. the funny thing is many people dont like this for some reason. i make asimple salad in which i cut to sticks ( japan style) : radish and carrot. and add olive oil + lemon juice.
    pinch of salt.


  23. Ana

    OK, you guys just convinced me to plant some radish seeds in my spring garden! I’m a radish newbie but I’m game to try some of these ideas.

    Shauna – Crusty GF Bread?? Homemade? I’d love to try and make some, I’m scared of all those strange flours (mostly scared of their shelf life…)

  24. Anna Lee

    When my gramma was a new bride preparing for her first Thanksgiving she needed a side dish to round out her meal. She had radishes leftover from the veggie plate, cottage cheese in the fridge, and scallions. She minced the radishes, sliced the scallions, and mixed them together with the cottage cheese. Simple, elegant, and pretty. White flecked with confetti of red and green. It has been part of our thanksgiving ever since. Best flavor if let sit for at least two hours in fridge. This is one of my favorite ways to eat radishes. Radishes were also the first plant I grew as a child in my very own tiny little 2X2 plot next to mom’s flowers.

  25. sweetpea

    Not a big fan of radishes. My cookies however are wonderful. The chocolate chunks worked just fine, as did 48 hours in the fridge. I made the balls more like two ounces as 3 1/2 seemed a little too big. Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. Anonymous

    I never liked radishes (I get oral allergy sydrome from them) before trying them sauteed as described in Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It completely changes them! Delicious (and it denatures the proteins so I can eat them without a reaction)!

  27. camatcam

    Maldon sea salt to dip into and either straight Best Foods mayo or a Best Foods, paprika and white balsamic blend to lift the overall bite

  28. Suzette

    I love radishes of every kind and every which way, whether alone or in a variety of dishes.

    But a couple of years ago, I discovered something I never even thought about — that is, COOKING them! They are wonderful in stir-fries, scattered on pizzas or simply roasted (which sometimes I do them together with grape tomatoes, sprinkled with sea salt, fresh basil and oregano and a drizzle of evoo). People taste them and go, “oh wow — what are THESE?!” (… in a good way)

    “The Naked Fork”

  29. Wendy

    You have a lovely and informative site! I’m passing a blogger award to you – the zombie chicken award, please stop by my blog and pass it on.

  30. Sarah

    i too had a radish revelation — to cook them! i roasted them earlier this year, because, well i had them, and the oven was on. so surprising! so delicious! now a regular breakfast for me consists of thinly slicing them, then sauteing with a bit of butter and finishing with a few grains of maldon– yum! and of course, they are wonderful raw, especially with a taco al pastor, and lots of cilantro.

  31. sandwicharchitecture

    Radishes… I love to eat them as is, all in one bite! I love to slice them with a mandoline and give a little bite to sandwiches or salads. I’m a fan of bento lunches, and in making these discovered that radishes are not only good gap fillers whole, but they make a beautiful quick pickle: sliced, sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper, rice wine vinegar, and a touch of sugar.

Comments are closed