Black (or White) Radish Carpaccio

December 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

I have been planning to post this recipe for a while! It is so good and puts to good use one of those vegetables that you might not know what to do with.Black and white radishes are much bigger than their little pink and red relatives! Black radishes have rough black skin covering their white flesh. White radishes have smooth white skin. They are both easily found in Paris, but until my husband starting bringing them home about 5 years ago, I had only had them in Asian restaurants. They are considered an aid to appetite and digestion.

The first time a radish showed up in our fridge ,our then, Chinese babysitter squealed with delight! She asked me if she could show me how to properly prepare the large radish Chinese style. I said yes, feeling rather relieved that somebody knew what to do with this mystery vegetable, and proceeded to watch over her shoulder. She made a tasty salad with the radish.The first step to her salad was preparing the radish so it would not be so sharp tasting.  Radishes need to sweat she said! She thinly sliced the radishes and covered the slices with salt, much like you would do for eggplants. We let it sit over night, then the next day, she made her salad. The salad still tasted like radishes but it did not have such a pungent sharp taste.

This following recipe I came up with a few months ago. My Mother-in-Law had brought me back an enormous quantity of smoked paprika from Hungry. The paprika is delicious, but I have  had a hard time figuring what to do with it all. When the radishes started popping up in the Organic Coop, I thought, hmm this could be good. Until that moment, I had been serving this carpaccio with chopped herbs. The match turned out to be perfect together. I find myself serving this quite often as a starter when friends come over. Besides being delicious, it is very pretty to serve and easy to make.

Along with sweating radishes, it also helps to serve them very thinly sliced or grated. A sliver of radish used as a dip or tossed into a salad adds a touch of sharpness to softer foods.

Black or White Radish Carpaccio
1 Black or White Radish
1 lemon
olive oil
smoked paprika… or normal paprika if this is all you have!
salt pepper
1. Peel the radish. With a heavy sharp knife or grater, thinly slice the radish into rounds. Lay the radish rounds on a serving platter.
2. If you don’t mind the sharp taste of radishes, go to step 3. sprinkle a good tsp of sea salt over the radishes. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and put in the fridge over night or for at least 3 hours.
3. Remove the wrap. The radishes should be wet and a thin layer of water on the bottom of the plate. Drain, rinse and set out to dry on the serving platter in open air. You can use a paper towel to pat dry.
4. Sprinkle the radishes with good sea salt (I use Herbamare, a sea salt mixed with dried herbs) and the paprika. In a thin stream, add the oil and the juice of one lemon. Crack some fresh pepper over the top. Et voila, a beautiful starter or side dish.
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