For The Love Of Fruit

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I dream of fruit.  I long for fruit.  I admire fruit wherever I find it, whether in its natural or transformed state.  This is actually a sweet winter squash, although I might not have believed it had I not seen

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the transformation taking place before my eyes, the other day at the Moissac festival of fruits and vegetables.  Maybe I need to learn to love fruit as an object of art, instead of thinking of it as something to eat.

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This watermelon is actually not begging to be eaten, because who could bear to spoil its perfectly carved symmetry?  Not to mention the fact that watermelon is said to be one of the very worst fruits for diabetics, full of sugar that goes straight to your blood and stays there.

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Even the fruit that is just normally beautiful calls out to me.  I don’t answer, but it calls.  Some diabetics say they can eat half an apple, if they eat it with peanut butter or cheese, but I personally could eat that whole box of Reine Claudes, one of my favorite plums.  I could, but I don’t.  I don’t eat even one.

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But as Frank Zappa famously wrote “Call any vegetable, call it by name… and the chances are good the vegetable will respond to you.”  And so I called the radish.  These were exceptionally vigorous and virile radishes, longer than my hand and twice as pink.  And I wanted to do right by them, plus it was a chilly evening when a warm vegetable responded better to my dinner plan than any salad could.  So into the pot with them, et voilà, Butter Braised Radishes.

This isn’t an original idea, as variations of it are to be found all over the Internet as a low carb favorite substitute for potatoes.  I wouldn’t say the resemblance is close, as the radish retains a slightly peppery freshness that a potato just can’t achieve.  But it’s a delicious dish, one I’ll be making again soon and so should you.  It’s not fruit, it’ll never be fruit, but it’s one of the next best things.

Butter Braised Radishes

1-2 large bunches of radishes
a large chunk of good butter
salt and pepper

Trim and clean the radishes, saving the greens to toss into a soup, where they’ll really surprise you with their pleasant flavor.  Cut radishes into large chunks, as you would with potatoes if you were making home fries.

Melt the butter in a heavy pan, one wide enough to hold the radishes all in one layer.  You really need a decent amount of butter, so don’t hesitate to add more than you think is prudent.  You’re not going to eat all that butter anyway.

Add the radishes to the melted butter, salt and pepper them, and reduce the heat to medium low.  Allow the radishes to braise in the butter until they are tender and golden brown on all sides, about 20 minutes.

Serve them with love, and I’m pretty sure that those radishes will respond to you.

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6 Comments on “For The Love Of Fruit”

  1. zuleme Says:

    Frank would have loved those veggies.

  2. Eden Says:

    Stunning! I’m off to The Fair on friday to stare at displays of beautiful fruits veggies myself 🙂

    Several fruits (melons, apricots, blueberries etc) have a very low glycemic load and are a good way to enjoy a sweet treat without spiking your bloodsugar…


  3. It is interesting that you should post this. I currently have my diabetic mother-in-law visiting us here in Switzerland. We went to the bi-weekly farmers’ market in my town, and bought a huge amount of fruit, which she claimed she could all eat. Hrmmm… I might have to check up on that.

    I am a bit wary of radishes, having had icky ones as a child, but I’ll give them another shot using this recipe. I’m sure I saw some at our market.


  4. Abra: I love everything you say but the sadness in your voice over diabetes makes me want to give you a hug so from across the pond <> a big cyber hug for you. Your writing should never stop. Thank you. Your friend in the kitchen, ~Sharon

  5. geri Says:

    Inflammation has long been known to be the prime contributing factor to atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc., etc.. Chronic acidic inflammation could be an underlying fundamental contributing factor to someone contracting the metabolic disorder known as Diabetes and this perhaps could be helped/stabilized/reversed by alkainizing your body chemistry. Eating watermelon is an important food choice for alkalinizing your internal body chemistry and potentially helping your metabolic disorder (diabetes). Of course, eliminating many other acidic foods to heal your digestive system by balancing acid & alkali foods has greatly helped me.

  6. Shelli Says:

    Those lovely carved fruits remind me of many I saw in Thailand, where carving food is an art. Is fruit permanently off your diet or will you eventually be able to add it back in to some degree? And is it the sugar content that determines what you may eat of them? For example, can you eat tomatoes, a fruit that we think of as a vegetable because it’s not sweet?

    And radishes, I must say are one of my absolute favorite vegetables, usually plain with sea salt. Do they retain any crispness when they’re cooked?

    Part-time expatriates like you, we’re now living in France and learning to cook here. http://www.areweinparisyet.blogspot.com


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