comments 54

Welsh Rabbit with Radish Greens


You can admit it: the title of this blog post made you want to speak like Elmer Fudd.

Because what’s better than a post about Welsh rabbit?

A post about wascally Welsh wabbit with wadishes! Specifically, wadish gweens!

You’re vewy, vewy welcome.

I was buying even more radishes at the market on Friday when I noticed that my hands and arms were itchy. Why? Because radish leaves have little prickles. They don’t sting, but they can irritate if you have sensitive skin. So while I was waiting in line, rubbing my hands and arms, my mind naturally drifted to stinging nettles — whose short season I seem to have missed completely. Then I started thinking that maybe radish leaves would be a good substitution for them in recipes.

The inspiration for this dish came, not from Bugs Bunny, but from from Nigel Slater‘s recipe for Welsh rabbit with nettles.

Welsh rabbit (also known as rarebit) is basically cheese on toast. The best cheese on toast that you will ever have. I’m not entirely sure of the origins of the name. I read that it was a term coined in the 18th Century by the English to make fun of the Welsh who had lots of cheese but little meat. But there seems to also exist an English rabbit, a Scotch rabbit and an Irish rabbit — none of which have any rabbit in them either. They are all just cheese on toast.

Technically, this should probably be called American rabbit — specifically New Hampshire rabbit because the Welsh-style cheese that I used is made New Hampshire, USA at Landaff Creamery. Landaff Creamery is named after the Welsh hamlet of Llandaff, just to the north of Cardiff. I’m not quite sure why they lopped off the extra l. Maybe there was some kind of international branding issue. Or maybe it’s because the difficult to pronounce Welsh double l supposedly gets lopped off by Welsh capital dwellers, and the creamery’s owners figured that if it was too hard for them, it would be impossible for us. My cheesemonger didn’t seem to have any trouble pronouncing it as if it had double lWhere did he learn that?!

Ingredients:

About a cup of radish leaves, washed

Olive oil

2 tablespoons of crème fraîche

1 teaspoon of grainy mustard

1/2 cup of crumbled Caerphilly, Caerphilly-like cheese or Cheddar (see here for more alternatives)

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

2 slices of sourdough bread, lightly toasted on both sides (you can also use multigrain bread)

How to prepare:

1. Heat some olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil becomes fragrant, add the radish greens to the pan along with about a tablespoon of water. Sauté the greens until they just wilted. Remove the greens to a colander to drain.

2. When the greens are cool enough to handle, gently press as much liquid out of them as you can. Roughly chop the leaves.

3. In medium-sized bowl, mix together the chopped greens, the crème fraîche, the mustard and the crumbled cheese. Season the mixture with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Divide the mixture in half and mound it evenly onto each slice of toast. Arrange them on a large sheet of aluminum foil and place the toasts under the broiler until browned and golden.

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54 Comments

  1. There are rabbits running around the fields here at Cal-Wood. Literally hundreds. One came in the kitchen and was standing next to the stove the other day. Everyone gets made when I say we should just chuck it in the oven….overfed Americans….

    • Wow! That is a brazen rabbit! Fearless to come into the kitchen like that. It makes me wonder if someone has been feeding them, otherwise, wouldn’t they be afraid of humans?

      I’m sorry to hear that you are overrun with wascally wabbits. In that case, culling the population by making delicious oven-baked dishes is not a bad idea :-)

  2. Sounds great – I’m Welsh you see. It’s not exactly traditional, but that’s obviously not a problem :D. It sounds utterly, utterly delicious, Daisy! I love Elmer Fudd! For some reason it makes me want to go buy or shoot myself a couple of rabbits for my first ever rabbit stew!

    • What? You’re . . . you’re . . . Welsh?!
      ;-)

      Thanks, Nick! I love Elmer Fudd too. They recently started doing new Warner Brothers cartoons with the original characters. Sigh. Not as good, I must report.

      Your comment made me snicker though. Shooting would probably be the more exciting way to get yourself a rabbit. It makes me think of this Nigella Lawson recipe for a roasted rabbit salad, darkly named “A Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s Garden”!

  3. I can honestly say I’ve never had any variation of a welsh rabbit. I gotta give this a try. I have tried marmite and vegemite and I really, really, really hope this doesn’t taste like either of these.

    • I’ve never had marmite or vegemite, but I don’t think this tastes anything like that. It tastes like melty cheese on toast with mustard. It’s pretty yummy!

      • Whew! Okay back on my make list. Oh wanted to let you know the radish and cucumber salad was inspired by your radish on finnish ruis bread since I wanted to avoid the butter and cut back a bit on the carbs!

            • Fresh bread, butter, thin scraping. Got it.

              Does anyone ever cook with it? Or is it just a spread on toast kind of thing? And is there a difference in taste between Vegemite and Marmite?

              I know, so many questions :-)

              • Garden Correspondent

                I add it to gravy. It’s got a real umami thing going. I love it most on buttered toast though. When I was little I hated it, thought it tasted like ear wax.

      • Hmmm, gravy. That’s a good idea.

        Earwax isn’t much of an endorsement, but I am encouraged that you changed your mind later! I didn’t really like the taste of Chinese herbs when I was young, but I love them now as an adult.

    • Who can resist cheese on toast (made slightly healthier with some greens)? :-)

      Thanks for the visit and for the lovely comment. Your blog looks great too!

      • Life without cheese? It’s . . . sad!

        There is a cheese shop here that sell a vegan blue soy cheese. It looks like extruded, marbled play-doh. It is the saddest food I have ever seen.

  4. Yum. What a good combination–I bet those radish greens and mustard wake that cheesy goodness right up! :)

    • Those widdle wascals! I bet they were just waiting to eat your wadish tops when you weren’t wooking!
      :-)

      I can’t wait to see what you do with your secret kale stash. It will be wegendary!

  5. I wanted to go to UMass at Amherst and major in Welsh. My parents were totally horrified…..so I ended up in the seafood business filleting fish. Go figure. Great post! I absolutely love how you include food history (one of my fave topics!) into almost all of your posts. I always feel smarter and more hungry after reading your blog. :) Hubby and I LOVE cheese! (Especially cheddar!) Your recipe sounds fantastic and the nutmeg addition sounds sooooo good and flavorful. Would you ever do a post on “real” wabbit?

    • That’s pretty cool the UMass Amherst let’s you major in Welsh. Is it its own department? Or is it part of Celtic or Gaelic Studies?

      I wanted to go to art school — which also horrified my parents. So I went to university instead . . . and majored in Philosophy and French Literature. I think that, now, my parents wish I would have gone to art school!

      I love doing my little investigations and reporting back. There is always so much to learn and so much to explore.

      And yes! I love rabbit and rabbits. I know it’s really contradictory. I have posted about rabbit before, but don’t cook it as often as I would like . . . don’t let Ruby know!!!

      • It was 20 years ago when I looked at UMass so my memory is pretty fuzzy but I think it was its own department. I don’t know if the program exists anymore. I didn’t know that you had a philosophy degree too! Very interesting! You could still go to art school. You’re never too old to learn. I could totally see you specializing in photography. Don’t worry…I won’t tell Wuby that you like wabbit. :)

        • Yes, I have a degree in sophism and a license to bloviate ;-)

          Just kidding. I’m sure a degree in Philosophy is good for something else… do let me know if you hear of something else, ok?
          :-)

  6. You know I’m not a huge bread eater, but since you’ve included sourdough bread.. I have to say I am excited about this dish :). Really enjoyed this post and I still enjoy this blog :). Congrats to all of your success

  7. Bunny Eats Design

    As much as I love cheese on toast and dislike actually eating rabbits, I have never eaten or made Welsh Rabbit before. Great use if your radish greens again too!

    I love the sound of gravy on the side. If only I had a permanent vessel of gravy on hand…

    • Gravy on the side improves almost everything!

      Except for fruit. Gravy + fruit sounds like a bad idea.

      If you like cheese on toast, Welsh rabbit is a great way to eat rabbit while leaving the rabbits alone :-)

  8. Bunny Eats Design

    p.s. When I was a kid, being Chinese and kiwi, I always thought of Marmite and Vegemite as soy sauce paste.

    Marmite on bread to some, is like soy sauce on rice to others :)

  9. Pingback: Green Tartine, or, Radish Top Toast « Emmy Cooks

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