Black Radish Crostini and a Russian Cure for Cough and Cold
Black radish is beautiful. It is less assertive than red radish and daikon. It’s milky white flesh almost mimics a mild turnip or a potato. You can roast, bake, and puree it. It pairs very well with butter, but today I am going dairy free and am using avocado. Oh my goodness! This works great!
In Russia, black radish is used to cure a cough or cold. There are different preparations for this. It can be shredded and mixed with honey, or it can be partially cored and filled with honey. Allow it to sit for a day so that the radish juices and honey can blend.
This photo to the left illustrates how this is traditionally done, however, there is too much honey going in there. 🙂 Leave a little room in the top.
If you want to know more about black radish history and medicinal uses, read this short and entertaining article from Zester Daily. (also photo source for radish & honey)
Black on the outside. Snowy white on the inside. What drama!
Shaved cucumber and black radish makes a striking salad presentation. Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler. You only need to add a vinaigrette.
These radishes bake and roast beautifully. Treat them like potatoes. Roasted black radish is delicious! Roasting develops sugars in the radish.
To make a mash or a puree: Roast whole, with a little oil, and covered with a lid or tin foil, until tender and easy to puree.
Mash with butter if you eat dairy.
However, after waiting over an hour for my radish to soften and the beautiful skin to separate itself, two things happened… (1) I got impatient, and (2) I decided to opt for a chunkier texture with bits of the black skin, instead of a gray puree.
Be sure to season at this point.
Now to build crostinis. 🙂
Had I pureed my radish, I would have toasted my bread for contrasting texture. With the chunky texture of the radish, I keep the french bread soft.
A little vinaigrette sprinkled on the french bread at this point will add flavor and help to stabilize your radish.
Add black radish mash.
Avocado adds a buttery texture that pairs perfectly with the flavor of black radish. Add fresh lemon juice, or vinaigrette.
This is not a great picture… just taking a moment… avocado.
All that creaminess needs a little crisp on top. Add cucumber and sliced black radish.
Salt and pepper, to taste, on any layer.
Black Radish Crostini
These are dairy free. The addition of avocado pairs beautifully with black radish and gives the dish a delightful buttery texture.
- French Bread, sliced, or any bread that suits your needs and taste
- black radish for puree – one for about every 6 crostinis, depending on the size of your bread slices
- salt and pepper, to taste
- avocado, sliced
- black radish, thinly sliced
- cucumber, thinly sliced, or shaved with a vegetable peeler
- lemon juice (will keep avocado green)
- any vinaigrette you like; I like apple cider
Slice black radish and cucumber. Set the prettiest pieces aside.
Roast the remaining black radish in a little oil and covered, in a 400° oven, until tender. Remove from oven and pulse in a processor until you get the consistency you like. Either chunky with bits of black skin, or a smooth puree. Salt and pepper, to taste. If you use dairy, you can melt in a little butter, cream or cheese.
Next, just assemble the crostini any way you like. First bread slices. Toast if you want a bit of a crunch. Sprinkle bread with lemon or vinaigrette. Spread black radish puree on top of flavored bread. Layer avocado slices. A sprinkling of fresh lemon juice over avocado will prevent browning. Top with thinly sliced cucumber and black radish. These can be already lightly dresses, or you can add vinaigrette, salt and pepper.
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