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.
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 l. Where did he learn that?!
About a cup of radish leaves, washed
2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
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.