When life hands you radishes…

As you may have seen from my last blog, we are inundated by radishes. I planted some called ’18 day radishes’, some French breakfast, some seeds from last year’s radishes and Jake also planted some. We’ve had half a kilo already, ranging from mini ones to ones as big as turnips. Not bad considering they went in on the 13th March – and were ready at least a week ago!!

In all honesty, I don’t like radishes much. I planted them out of sentimentality because my Gramps loved radishes. Steve likes radish, but even with his love of radish, you’ve got to have a real fetish to eat half a kilo of the things. So, I was looking for recipes with radishes. I found two that might have been a bit appetising.

One was in an old Readers’ Digest manual – brie and radish mousse. The other was in The Silver Spoon – my bible of cooking. We had camembert, not brie, but I didn’t think it would matter. You have to chop the rind off a very ripe brie (or spoon it out – much easier!) mix it with a little double cream, whip up the same amount of double cream, add some powdered gelatine and mix in the radishes then leave it to set. I confess I chose this one because we had a ripe camembert and I needed something to do with it.

But…

Because the cheese doesn’t ever really mix with the cream – it just becomes a mix rather than integrated – and the gelatine has to bind the two – which it didn’t really – it just did that nasty thing of going all stringy and horrid – it just ended up a bit of a gloopy mess. I thought it was quite edible, but it seemed to bring up a lot of phlegm. Dairy will do that if you’ve got a cough! Steve did NOT think it was edible, professed it looked like phlegm, ate one mouthful and did a face like Jake does when faced with any one of his food dislikes: one of utter disgust.

Not one to be kept then!

The second recipe fared a little better. It was radishes in yoghurt. I chopped them (you’re supposed to have an apple in it, but I didn’t have one, and I had a lot of radish, so I just did radish!) mixed Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, celery salt and pepper – perfect. This works. Steve’s finishing it off as I write. I can probably get away with some celery and apple in there too.

Of course, the internet is my favourite recipe book and I’ve since found several that make me want to grow more radishes. The first is the lemon, chilli and radish salad which looks like I might even try it. It reminded me that quite a lot of oriental food uses radish – I saw a lot of dishes with radish and seafood in some kind of eastern sauce. It’s become clear that a ‘smoothie’ of vegetables is a real part of French cuisine in restaurants at the minute – gone are veloutés (despite G. Ramsay’s misuse of the term!) and confits – so my second choice is a french radish smoothie with carrot paté and artichoke and chorizo muffins. It combines much of those elements the French seem crazy about at the moment, cuisine-wise – American stuff like smoothies and muffins, with a real French twist. Plus, it’s cheap to make. I think this is one for the next radish harvest. The final one is a more old-fashioned, dare I say passé recipe from Sophie Grigson for citrus radish confit which also looks splendid. I’m actually looking forward to our next radish crop now.

We noticed yesterday that the cherries are beginning to ripen – some had turned orangey-green. Today, they’re definitely red, although not so many of them are that stage yet. You can almost watch them ripen before your eyes. We ate one each – they weren’t deep red on the inside, but they were still fairly edible. I think I’ll wait before I eat any more though. They were perfect last year when we came in the last week of May.

From this:

To this:

And now to this in six weeks!

I am waiting for this:

Mmmm. Cherry jam. Cherry ice-cream. Glacé cherries. Cherry jelly. Cherry brandy. Cherry compote. I love cherries! I think I’d go as far as saying they’re my favourite fruit.

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