Breakfast Radishes

Photo: Carina Salvi

For anyone who thinks radishes only come red and round, a trip to a farmer’s market is a root-vegetable revelation. The familiar globe variety is joined by long white icicles, psychedelic watermelons, and the elegantly tapered, white-tipped French breakfast—the Coco Chanel of the radish family. The level of spiciness varies, but the crunch is a constant, and that texture is what makes radishes such excellent hors d’oeuvre. At Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano, Jody Williams serves them before dinner with a minimalist take on bagna cauda—the “hot bath” of oil, anchovies, and garlic you’ll sop up with every last crumb of crusty bread.

Jody Williams’sBreakfast Radishes with Bagna Cauda
12 small to medium radishes (any combination of breakfast, icicle, and globe)
Maldon sea salt to taste
1/2 cup extra- virgin olive oil
5 or so anchovies
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Illustration by John Burgoyne

Wash radishes. (1) If some aren’t bite-size, cut them in half, and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt. In small saucepot, gently heat the olive oil (on lowest flame) with the anchovies and the crushed garlic, but don’t let the oil begin to bubble.
(2) After about five minutes, gently stir the anchovies until they disintegrate into a kind of sludgy paste. Remove pot from stove.
(3) Distribute the radishes into several small serving bowls, and drench them with the bagna cauda.

Breakfast Radishes