One of my favourite parts of June is the return of the local farmers market.
Compared to the bigger markets like the St Lawrence or the Brickworks, the little market at Withrow Park with its dozen stands may not look like much, but I think it's perfect. It's got everything I need... fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, bread, and pastries, all locally grown and produced.
This year's cool rainy spring meant that it was pretty slim pickings at the inaugural market last weekend, but I still managed to snag myself a crusty sourdough baguette and bunch of fat crunchy radishes.
Rounded out with a handful of chives from the garden and a block of creamy butter, I had exactly what I needed to make myself a platter of radish toast, the most quintessential of almost-summertime snacks, and a perfect way to celebrate the market's return.
How to Make Radish Toast
This classic French recipe is so incredibly easy to make - slices of fresh baguette topped with a generous slathering of chive butter, a layer of thinly sliced radishes, and a sprinkling of crunchy salt.
All that matters is that you must make sure that each of those elements is the absolute best you can possibly get. The radishes must be large and plump and crunchy. The baguette must be crusty on the outside and delicately airy on the inside. The chives should be fresh and very finely chopped. The salt should be flaky and crunchy.
And, most important of all, the butter must be creamy and rich and utterly exceptional.
Choosing the Right Butter for Radish Toast
You could use ordinary butter, but the secret to making the best radish toast in the world is to use really, really good butter. That's why I insist on making my radish toasts with Stirling Creamery's butter, because it's the best you can get without hopping the next plane to France.
In fact, I don't need to hop on a plane at all, because it's made right here in Ontario using fresh local cream without any additives or preservatives.
I generally prefer to keep unsalted butter on hand because it's best for baking, but when it comes to radish toast, I'm all about the salted whey butter.
It's an artisanal butter is made from whey cream that's created during the production of fine cheeses, which gives it a rich, creamy, and intensely buttery flavour. It's exactly what you want to temper the sharp crunch of the radishes.
Want to make your own radish toast? Best hurry up, then. It won't be long before last week's radishes, garlic scapes and green onions give way to sweet peas and early strawberries, so I strongly suggest hustling over to your local market to stock up while the getting is good!
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Gay Lea, and received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. As always, all opinions on this blog are my own.
This simple 5-ingredient appetizer is the perfect way to enjoy a bunch of big fat radishes from the market. Pair with a glass of well-chilled rose for a very classic French "apero".
- ¼ cup Stirling Creamery whey butter, softened
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives (plus more for garnish)
- 1 sourdough baguette, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 6-8 large radishes, very thinly sliced
- Coarse flaked salt for sprinkling (like fleur de sel or maldon sea salt)
- In a small bowl, stir together the butter and chives until well combined. (You can use the butter right away if you're pressed for time, but it'll be even better if you cover and chill for at least an hour to let the flavours blend.)
- To make the toasts, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of chive butter. Top with radish slices, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and more chives. Serve immediately, preferably with a chilled glass of rose or white wine.
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: French