The idea for this side dish came from Susan over at Susan eats London. It’s hardly a recipe, just French breakfast radishes split in half and sautéed in butter and olive oil.
French breakfast radishes are elongated, rosy-colored radishes tipped with white at the root end. The French adore them. You see them everywhere, but I can’t recall ever hearing them called breakfast radishes in France. No “radis petit-déjeuner.” No “bweakfast wadeeesh” either.
The exact reason for why they are called French breakfast radishes is unclear. From what I can find out, their name has nothing to do with the French having them for breakfast. Instead, it comes from the Victorians who liked to eat them for breakfast or afternoon tea. “French breakfast radish” is the blanket term for any small, oblong, pink and white-tipped radish. These kinds of radishes were considered French because of their association to the French from the English perspective (the English observed that the French liked to eat a lot of them). They became known as those French radishes that you had while sipping your English breakfast tea.
French breakfast radishes are the quintessential radish for slathering with good soft butter and dunking in flaky sea salt. They are also delicious sautéed in butter. Cooked, the radishes lose their bitter bite and they turn into succulent butter bombs. During cooking, the radishes give up some of their essence and make the most beautiful pink-hued sauce. They are impossible to resist.
Susan calls them food crack, and who can resist food crack? Not me!
1 bunch of French breakfast radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
How to prepare:
1. In a skillet large enough to accommodate all the radishes, melt a big knob of butter with a little bit of olive oil. When the butter begins to foam, add the radishes. Season them with salt and sauté them until the radishes lose their opacity and they all begin to turn translucent. Transfer the radishes to a serving dish and snip fresh chives over them before serving.