For The Love Of Fruit
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
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.
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.
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.
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.