Finnish Ruis Bread Topped with Sliced Radishes and Soft Butter

I ate my first radish after watching Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theater. Do you remember that series? Maybe it was a little dark for children, but I loved it and thought Shelley Duvall was the bomb as Rapunzel.

If you remember the story, it all starts when Rapunzel’s mother develops a serious pregnancy craving for radishes, specifically the radishes topped with blue leaves growing in her neighbor’s garden. Unfortunately, instead of just going next door and asking the neighbor for some radishes, or even offering to pay for the radishes, her husband decides that he is going to scale the garden wall in the middle of the night and steal them.

If it had been Texas or Florida, he would have just been shot on sight, but since it’s Faerie Tale-land, the neighbor just takes their first-born.

Did I mention that she’s a witch?

That really got my 7 year-old brain working. What food would be so good that it would cause you to ignore common sense (don’t break, enter and steal from witches)? I had to get one of these radish-things. They must, I thought, be amazing!

After pestering my parents, they finally came home from the market with a nice bunch of radishes. They were so pretty: bright red on the outside and snowy white on the inside. No blue leaves, but I could deal with the thought of that particular variety being unavailable at our local supermarket.

I put one in my mouth, chewed . . . and spat it right back out. Blech! Stupid fairy tale!

I pretty much avoided radishes after that until I was 14 and was served them in France. Not wanting to be impolite, I followed my host family’s lead and slathered the offensive root with butter before popping it in my mouth.

Imagine my shock: the radish wasn’t offensive at all. It was . . . delicious!

And I have loved them ever since.

These little toasts can hardly be considered a recipe; they are just something that I love to have for lunch when radishes are in season. I really like using Finnish Ruis bread made by NYC-based Nordic Breads (the best Ruis bread ever). Nordic Breads ships their rounds anywhere, but in a pinch, any good rye bread will do as long as it is sliced thinly.

I’m not paid to say this about Nordic Breads at all, I just think their bread is wonderful 🙂


Finnish Ruis bread, or any thinly sliced good rye bread

Radishes, thinly sliced

Good soft butter

Good sea salt

How to prepare:

1. If using Finnish Ruis bread, cut each round into halves or quarters before splitting them through the middle. Toast the bread and let it cool completely.

2. When the bread is cool, spread the soft butter evenly over the top of each piece. Arrange the sliced radishes on top and sprinkle them with good, flaky sea salt. Eat immediately.


25 thoughts on “Finnish Ruis Bread Topped with Sliced Radishes and Soft Butter

  1. Desi Chick

    Sometimes the most simplest things taste the best don’t they? You made them look so pretty. I’m thinking I want these for lunch tomorrow. I’m getting really hungry lately since I’m doing those killer workouts. I find myself thinking about food a lot. Almost every other minute. This must be what men go through in their brains, only about sex.

    • baconbiscuit212

      It’s true. I love simple food. It drives me nuts when people say simple food is boring because if the ingredients are good, why not let them shine?

      I was thinking with all the butter, this might be a diet deal-breaker 😦 But you know what is awesome instead of butter? Fromage frais, fromage blanc, or quark. Maybe even lite cream cheese. That sounds good too!

      You made me laugh out loud about the constant preoccupation with food. Can you imagine a man on a diet now? Would he be able to function at all?!

      • Desi Chick

        I was going to use yogurt spread. I make this thing with low fat greek yogurt left in a coffee filter inside a strainer and let it drip into another bowl in a fridge and it makes this really thick cream cheese like spread (terrible sentence but you know what I mean). I just add flavors for savory or sweet and use it in place of butter. Works really well in place of Mayo as well. About the man on a diet…that could be problematic…no room for any other thoughts at all!

    • baconbiscuit212

      Wasn’t it the best? Bernadette Peters as Beauty? Robin Williams as a Frog, I think.

      Imagine my surprise when I saw the Shining for the first time. “That was Shelley Duvall?!”

  2. rubyandwheaky

    Oh yeah does that look yum! I love radishes! My favorites are the French Breakfast Radishes. I grew them in my garden a few years ago. Wow! Super crispy with a wonderful peppery taste. I put them on a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Next time I’ll try your suggestion and get some rye bread. Adding a touch of sea salt is an excellent idea! 🙂

  3. tanyamhudson

    I must shamefully admit that I don’t like radishes. Well, okay, I don’t like raw radish. There’s something about the sharp-spicy-crunchy combination that just doesn’t do it for me. I do, however, like pickled radishes (softer, tangier, less spicy) and roasted radishes (softer and a little sweet). Go figure! But regardless of my radish dislike, this looks beautiful and delicious!

    Also, I’ve never seen ruis bread before, but I love rye. Will have to keep an eye out for this variety…

    • baconbiscuit212

      It’s not shameful! I keep trying but can’t seem to work up any enthusiasm for small oily fish like anchovies. Now that’s shameful!

      Radishes are kind of polarizing. I think if you get them early in the season when they are young, they are really nice. They just get spicier and spicier as the season goes one. Kind of hard to take on their own. But pickled? Sautéed? Roasted? Always good!

      Ruis bread is wonderful! I had a Finnish friend who used to say that she never felt healthy in New York because there was no good Finnish bread. That was years ago, before Nordic Breads. I’m not sure how widespread it is outside of NYC, but it’s all over Finland. So much rye. It’s so good though! Radishes and butter also rock on pumpernickel!

    • baconbiscuit212

      So true. I had more radishes today and tossed the rest of my micro-greens on top. A little fussy, but so good!

      The show was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Not all the fairy tales had happy endings — which I actually preferred. I was always a little suspicious of Disney!

  4. Susan

    I love buttered radishes! Have you tried cooking radishes? Cut in half and sauteed in just a bit of butter they are food crack. Delicious!

  5. Garden Correspondent

    Radishes were the first vegetable I ever grew, when I was six or so. They were a disappointment to me, too. Like you, I have come around, and this sounds like a grand way to enjoy a radish or two!

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