Butter Dipped Radishes
A few weeks ago, I drove my little girl up A1A to a farmers’ market that is one block from the Atlantic ocean. The sun glinted on the green ocean on our right side, and kitschy beach houses painted aqua and pink, mermaid mailboxes, and ramshackle restaurants flashed by on our left. It was a pretty perfect day.
We found some lovely veggies, but my favorite was a beautiful bundle of French breakfast radishes. These radishes are milder than regular radishes, and they have an oblong shape that’s perfect for dipping.
Radishes? Really? Yes, really. If you’ve only had those harsh, spicy, old radishes from the grocery store, grab a handful of these next time you spot them. They’re amazing and totally unlike their grocery store counterparts.
When we got back home from the market, I realized we bought way too many radishes, so I invited friends over to help us eat them.
And I planned on serving my radish surplus raw, dipped in butter.
We had a few other farmers’ market dishes, like this salad, which is a great way to use up roasted beets and avocado. I added some roasted chickpeas and some edible nasturtium flowers from the garden for gorgeous color. Recipe coming soon.
My friend Laura brought a lovely rubbed kale salad with goat cheese, dried cherries, and – you guessed it – radishes. Yay for shopping at the same farmers’ market.
Here’s a radish, fennel top, and brie pizza that is my new favorite thing. Recipe coming soon.
Yeah, it was a lighter meal of vegetables, but it also had a nice rosé as well as radishes dipped in copious amounts of butter, so that balanced things out.
These radishes are about as eye-catching as they are easy to make. You’ll need butter, sea salt (I like Maldon), and radishes – that’s it.
You can’t simply melt butter and dip radishes in it – the butter would drip right off. We’re going to need to temper the butter in order to make it dippable. Basically, all that means is that we’re going to melt the butter very slowly, adding more pieces of butter as we whisk, to make a butter sauce that’s in between a liquid and solid state.
First, we’re going to pop half a stick of butter in the smallest pot you have over medium low heat. As soon as the butter has melted – do NOT let it bubble or brown – pull it off the heat.
Then add 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk it until it has melted into the original butter.
Repeat with 1 more tablespoon at a time, whisking well between additions. Don’t add more than one tablespoon at a time, and don’t put the butter back on the heat – this is easy work, but it does require a bit of patience.
The goal here is melting the butter so slowly and gradually that you wind up with butter isn’t liquid or solid – it’s in between. The butter fat is suspended and allows the butter to thickly coat the radish instead of just dripping off the way plain, melted butter would. When it’s ready, it’ll be thick and yellow.
When the butter has been tempered and can coat the back of a spoon, grab a parchment lined baking sheet, dip the rinsed and dried radishes into the butter, and sprinkle each one with a pinch of sea salt.
Pop the radishes in the fridge to set for an hour or so, and then enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including chill time)
Butter Dipped Radishes
Crunchy, buttery, and salty - these radishes are the perfect appetizer.
1 bunch radishes with green tops (preferably oblong French breakfast variety), rinsed and completely dry
1-2 sticks butter*
flaked sea salt like Maldon
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put half a stick of butter in the smallest pot you have over medium low heat. As soon as the butter has melted - do NOT let it bubble or brown - pull it off the heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk it until it has melted into the original butter.
- Repeat with 1 more tablespoon at a time, whisking well between additions. The goal here is melting the butter so slowly and gradually that you wind up with butter that is in between a liquid and solid state. The butter fat is suspended and allows the butter to thickly coat the radish instead of just dripping off the way plain, melted butter would. I used two sticks last time I made this; see note for how to use leftovers.
- When the butter has been tempered and can coat the back of a spoon, dip the rinsed and dried radishes into the butter and sprinkle each one with a pinch of sea salt.
- Pop the radishes in the fridge to set for an hour or so, and then enjoy with a bottle of unoaked chardonnay like Chablis.
*I like using Kerrygold Irish butter because it's made from grass-fed cows and it just tastes awesome. Regardless of the butter you use, though, the trick to this recipe is having lots of butter around. You can put any leftover melted butter in candy molds for shaped butter pats or just pop it in some tupperware to use later.
I learned the butter tempering method from The Sensitive Epicure and Julia Child.
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