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Radishes with Chervil Butter

Some marvelous varieties of radish are now showing up in farmers markets. A mix of colors and varieties would make an appealing plate. Look for white, black, French Breakfast and Misato Rose. Whichever variety you choose, look for firm radishes with smooth skin and unwilted green leaves. If you have a green thumb, take a look at the radish page of your favorite seed catalog.

Ingredients:

For the chervil butter:

  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
      temperature
  • 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh chervil

  • 16 radishes, chilled
  • Fresh chervil sprigs for garnish

Directions:

To make the chervil butter, in a small bowl, stir together the butter, salt and minced chervil until well mixed and creamy.

Remove a small sliver from the base and top of each radish, then halve it crosswise (across the equator). Each half will sit firmly and evenly with the larger cut side uppermost. Arrange the halved radishes on a platter, larger cut side up.

Spoon the chervil butter into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe a small rosette of chervil butter in the center of each half.

Decorate the platter with chervil sprigs or, if desired, press a tiny frond of feathery chervil into the side of each chervil-butter rosette. Chill before serving. Makes 32 small cold bites.

Make-Ahead Tip: The butter-topped radishes may be refrigerated, uncovered, for up to 2 hours before serving.

Variation Tips: Substitute basil for the chervil, creating another wonderful flavoring for the butter. You may also serve the radishes with plain unsalted butter, a popular French snack.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Hors d'Oeuvre, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2001).