When five stories break a day and Florence’s events scene enters sixth gear, I retreat to radishes.
Packed with potassium and folic acid, radishes are the ultimate energy bringer and stress buster. These dainty red roots sing spring; in rural Cheshire I grew up eating radishes in a ploughman’s salad. Delicately peppery and refreshing, they cut through the rich cheese and tangy pickles, washed down with a very English cup of tea.
Sitting pretty on the city’s market stalls, Florentines are prone to popping a bunch or two of ravanelli into their sturdy trolley bags. The vegetables make a colourful cameo in a pinzimonio, the only rounded, red and still intact feature among the carrot, cucumber and celery sticks to be dipped into your finest best extra-virgin olive oil.
With the more exotic daikon ravishing the radish limelight among chefs and nutritionists, the unassuming red-skinned Raphanus sativus deserves advancement from garnish to glory. You can eat the leaves raw in a salad, simply sautéed as a pasta accompaniment or pulped as pesto. What raises the radish to celebrity status, however, is butter (doesn’t it always?) and that’s the super simple recipe I share here.