The first time I saw French Breakfast radishes in a neighbor’s garden plot, I was hooked. Who doesn’t love the pink and white color and the unusual shape? I started growing my own crop, and I discovered that they are not as prone to getting tough or pithy as the typical red round variety we usually see in the gardens and supermarkets and they can handle a couple of hot days without suffering in quality. French breakfast radishes grow quickly, so be sure to prepare new soil plots every couple of weeks or so. Radishes are ready to pick when the bottom leaves move from pointing upward to lying flat. This is a better indication of readiness rather than the actual size of the radish. If the radishes are left in the ground longer, they will start to bolt and the quality of the root won’t be as nice for fresh eating. You may still be able to get in a crop or two this spring.
I really don’t know if the French eat these radishes for breakfast, but we can do that here in California. Try this recipe on a lazy weekend morning.
California/French Avocado Toast
2 large slices onion bread.
1 small avocado
6 English Breakfast radishes
Use bread from an oversize loaf. Toast the slices on both sides. Let the toast cool on a wire rack while you prepare the other ingredients. Using a sharp knife, slice the radishes into thin rounds. Thinly slice the scallion. Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, and slice the avocado into thin slices while it is right in the skin. There is no need to put citrus juice on the avocado if you work quickly and eat it right away.
Place the toast on a serving plate. Scoop out the avocado slices with a large serving spoon. Spread the avocado slices on the bread, sprinkle 1/2 of the radish slices on top of the avocado and top with a sprinkle of scallions. Repeat for the other piece of toast.
If you are a slower chef, or not that good with a knife, you can mash the avocado along with a dash of citrus juice to keep the color, and then spread the avocado on the toast. You can also grate the radishes or lightly chop them in a food processor.
By Carol Nierman