Thursday, May 24, 2012

A simple, elegant appetizer

Sometimes the simplest things can be the best. This appetizer only has three ingredients - well, four, if you count the optional garnish. And two variations.

But it looks pretty on the plate, and people will think you were a genius to think of this combination.

You can make a huuuuge tray of these for almost no money, if that's a consideration, and the ingredients are easy to find. I used both radishes and hakurei turnips, but if you can't find the turnips, you can use all radishes. If you can find different colors of radishes, it will make a nicer presentation, but that's not necessary, either.

If you can't find hakurei turnips, I suggest you give them a try. They're great raw- sweet and not harsh at all. They're one of the vegetables I look forward to buying at the farmer's market every year.

And then we have the butter. Since this is just one of three ingredients, this is the place to splurge and buy a good butter. I suggest buying unsalted, because the third ingredient is ... salt.

Again, this is the place to bust out the good stuff. A nice flake salt is good, but in this case I used a black flake salt and a red salt - I thought the color would make a nice accent.

The optional ingredient is chive flowers. I think they're really pretty as a garnish. Thyme flowers are also very nice. You might not find these for sale anywhere locally, but if you've got a garden or even a flowerpot on a sunny window, chives are very easy to grow. If you want to order online, Marx Foods has a nice selection of edible flowers, including chive flowers.

Radishes (and turnips) with Butter and Salt

2 radishes
2 hakurei turnips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, slightly soft
Chive flowers (optional)

Slice the radishes and turnips thinly - a mandoline is perfect for this.

Add a small amount of butter to each slice. Just a tiny dab

Top each with just a few flakes of salt.

If you have chive flowers, scatter some flowers on top. You can use more flowers as garnishes on the serving plates.