bread, butter, salt and radishes

January 15th, 2008 · 17 Comments


you know, if you read the ny times dining section, about 147 blogs, a couple of cooking magazines and watch a few tv shows on well, food… you’re bound to pick up a thing or two. and you may notice that on occasion one certain dish may get a lot of attention in a relatively short span of time. this sudden favorite seems to unexpectedly pop up everywhere. no-knead bread is a current example of this phenomenon. that loaf has a PR team unlike anything i’ve ever seen… and eleventy million food obsessed people can’t be all wrong. so the idea hangs around in your head until suddenly the dough is in your oven and then look at you, you never before bread baker you. that smell is wafting from your kitchen like nobody’s business. unless you’re me.

because i don’t knead or no-knead bread. i buy bread. there are actually a few decent bakers here in nashville – well, one in particular and that’s ‘provence’. their rustic tuscan loaf is a thing of beauty. a huge 2 lb. disc, kind of floury white on top with the perfect chewy crust and big air pockets making it difficult for things like bruschetta toppings to keep from falling through, while still being the only worthy choice… but alas, that is not the what you see featured here because i wasn’t willing to drive the extra miles to procure the better bread. this is the ‘provence’ tuscan loaf’s impostor, ‘the fresh market’s’ version of that same italian regional loaf. not terrible, nor impressive. but it is doable. and being that ‘the fresh market’ sells THE mother of all butters – there i was and there it was and here we are and happy and ready for a winter picnic.


so i love this little sandwichy thing. it’s what’s good about the world. surprisingly simple, yet wondrous.


those europeans… they know a thing or two.

Tags: sandwich

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Jan 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm


    Irresistable art. Ill be stopping at the market on the way home………

  • 2 Maggie // Jan 15, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    This is one of my absolute favorite starters during the Summer/Fall when we cart home loads of fresh radishes from the local farm. Nothing better, in my opinion, especially with great salt or a nice salty butter.

  • 3 Jennifer Hess // Jan 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Radishes were one of those things I was never crazy about until moving to the city, going greenmarketing and realizing “hey – there are all types and varieties of radish, and they all taste a little bit different!” I love ‘em straight with butter and salt, but I’m going to have to try them on bread for sure.

  • 4 nm // Jan 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Probably no closer to where you are, but Savarino’s Cucina has bread I think is even better than the Provence Tuscan loaf.

    I love radishes fresh from the garden, too. But I can’t get my husband to eat them ecept in salads.

  • 5 Meg // Jan 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve seen and read about little radish sandwiches (and they’re the featured veg on The Great Big Vegetable Challenge right now), but never tried one. You’ve convinced me.

    I like to have small halved radishes (or if we pull them early enough from the yard, whole ones) with a little bowl of olive oil and a little bowl of salt. I dip them in the salt, then the oil (or the other way) and snack away.

  • 6 Donald // Jan 15, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Now that’s simplistic elegance!


  • 7 FrenchLaundryatHome // Jan 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    I make these all the time — and, in the summertime, I add fresh dill or tarragon to the butter. Holy crap, that’s good stuff. You know, you can also poach/parboil radishes in chicken or turkey stock and serve them as a side-dish. The heat brings out a whole new dimension of flavor.

  • 8 Lesley // Jan 15, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    The Grand Cru of butter–I love it. And I must buy some.

    Do you want me to bring you some Provence bread Thursday? :)

  • 9 Lauren // Jan 16, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Oh how I love the radish sandwich. Let me count the ways. Seriously, when I first tried it I was just sure that it wasn’t going to be special. Something about the combination. A little crunch from the radish, good crusty bread- heaven in my mouth!

  • 10 pee dubya // Jan 16, 2008 at 11:13 am

    But but but is that butter really better than Kerry Gold salted butter? I have made the butter rounds, French, Danish, organic, and I tell you that the Kerry Gold is THE best I have tried.

    I will give the butter mentioned above a try on that amazing Tuscan bread and we shall see.


    P.S. Aren’t you proud of me for not bringing Marlon Brando into the conversation?

  • 11 Mary Coleman // Jan 16, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I have been known to have buttered the radish and left off the bread. I’ll have to be alone to eat this.

  • 12 fluffernutter // Jan 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I was working with a wild yeast some years ago, making soured Russian and Swedish breads, and none of them was kneaded. They worked great, turned out crisp and chewy, and the dough kept in the fridge for, like, weeks until you were ready to bake it. I need to go back to those — we had lots of winter suppers of just hot bread and cheese and fruit. Thanks for the reminder — and thanks for reminding me how good the Times food section is now — I used to be a loyal reader, and maybe it’s time again.

  • 13 fluffernutter // Jan 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Okay and one more thought — does butter ruin the bread experience for anyone else? The sensation of butter squeezing through my teeth makes me squirm. (Or anything squeezing through my teeth, which is why I avoid pizza.)

  • 14 clumsy // Jan 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Hmm never had a radish tartine before… but it looks wonderful. And a good butter can turn any ordinary bread into something scrumptious!

  • 15 mr. pink // Jan 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Are we talking just plain old garden-variety (heh) radishes, or do you need some sort of gourmet super-radish? I’ll be trying this over the weekend….

  • 16 TaratheFoodie // Jan 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I’ll bet this WAS good. Radishes have such a bright flavor and with the right bread, this would be a great little sandwich. Very pretty, too! Those radishes look lovely.

  • 17 Celebrate the Radish | Eat Boutique // Nov 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    [...] with butter and salt. Sometimes they pile them on a slice of bread, as fabulous food blogger Cook Eat Fret does here. I have tried to omit butter from my daily life, saving it for special occasions and my rare [...]

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