It’s time to pick the radishes so I sent Young Knight out to harvest them and he did an impeccable job pulling the ones that were the right size and leaving the ones that were too puny.
These home grown fellas made me think of the most common way of serving them in France, as an hors d’oeuvre with butter and salt.
Now a little lesson here. Did you know that hors d’oeuvre (there should not be an “s” at the end) is pronounced with the vowels in oeuvre like the vowels in the word could – “or douvr.” Did you catch that? The “v” sound comes before the “r” sound, not afterwards like the way we pronounce it. Although I suppose we’d all sound pretentious if we started changing the way we said it now. Everyone would think we were trying to be French.
Another interesting fact is that hors d’oeuvre is not the same as appetizer. Apéritif, which I assume is the Latin base (?) for appetizer, actually means booze. Hard core liquor with some peanuts or chips on the side. There is always juice served as well as maybe a soft drink like Schwepps Indian Tonic for those who don’t feel like having alcohol, but it mainly means liquor. You usually have this before dinner, although it can sometimes be served before lunch.
You would serve the hors d’oeuvre instead of peanuts/chips only if you’re going to be starting dinner later than usual, or if it’s a simple cocktail reception.
Another point of interest here. Once you sit down at the table, the little thing you get before you start your meal, like soup or salad with melted goat cheese (for example), is called an entrée. That’s right. In French entrée does not mean the main course like it does in American English. The main course is called “le plat principal,” the principal platter.
Hors d’oeuvre literally means “outside the creation.” In other words, it’s what’s served apart from the principal masterpiece that you’ve cooked up for the evening.
It’s a minorpiece!
Now on to our little minorpieces.
You wash the radishes.
“What’s that plastic container doing next to those supposedly ‘home-grown’ radishes, Lady Jennie,” you might ask? Well, my radishes were a little pathetic, to tell you the truth; they were … spindly.
“I think you ought to accept me the way I am.”
“You’re just a radish. You’ll get over it.”
Once you find the right radishes, you’ll need some salt for this complex creation,
and some butter. Don’t scrimp on the quality of the butter, kay? Because you really taste it.
You cut a cross in the radish 2/3 of the way through (after cutting the ends off),
stuff it with butter,
dip it in salt,
Here’s a half platter-full of prepared radishes.
Don’t worry. Those butter calories are totally erased by the fiber in the radish.
Do you want to learn about another French hors d’oeuvre that’s as easy to prepare?
Cut some toast into small squares.
Spread a generous helping of butter on it. (What, are you surprised? This is France!)
Place a pretty fold of smoked salmon on top.
Okay, here’s the platter with a couple of lemon wedges,
that your guests are supposed to spritz on their salmon toast (over their own plates). And don’t worry. – the lemon totally erases the calories in the butter.
All you need now is some gorgeous flowers to decorate your table.
And some dessert – we have two whole red ones in our garden!
And you’ll need the plat principal, of course. Good luck with that.