Everyone is familiar with the smallish bright red radishes. Leave it to Alex and Betsy Hitt, owners/farmers of Peregrine Farm and vendors at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, to introduce us to these oversized beauties.
Alex describes the Watermelon radish as sweet and colorful and the Black Spanish radish as crisp, with a spicy white flesh. Both are known as storage radishes and are kept in the ground, like an outdoor refrigerator, until ready to be pulled and taken to market. Radishes belong to a single species of the mustard family: Raphanus sativus.
I was immediately inspired to declare the radishes and delicate carrots my “go-to” hors d’oeuvres to prepare for friends and family this holiday season. Colorful, spicy radishes and sweet, crunchy carrots smeared with butter and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. No peeling or cooking involved!
Rinse the radishes and carrots in cold water. Slice thinly. The magenta color of the Watermelon radish and the slight rim of black on the white-fleshed Black Spanish radish, plated with the sunset-hued carrots, are a feast for the eyes. Spread with room temperature butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper for crisp, spicy, and buttery bites.