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Radish toast recipe inspired by Chef Ethan Lappe

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On a summer evening in June, Chef Ethan Lappe of Caffe Niche described some of the local Utah farms he works with to secure produce for the restaurant.

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As he talks, he slices turnips and radishes, spreads European butter onto Pierre Country Bakery baguette slices, loads on the veggies and sprinkles them lightly with Hawaiian lava salt. I’m intrigued.

Moments later, as I bite into the creamy, salty, crunchy radish toast I’m reminded of what real food is meant to taste like.

Celebrating ingredients in the purest, natural state is what makes a chef great. And to make such a simply great dish, quality ingredients are key.

Chef Lappe gets his French breakfast radishes from B.U.G. Farms otherwise known as Backyard Urban Garden Farms and expects to have this item on the menu as a daily special occasionally. (They appeared in B.U.G. Farms CSA share in June.)

I picked up radishes at Wasatch Front Farmer Market and happened to run across lava salt at the new Caputo’s in Holladay where I also got a baguette from Eva’s Bakery.

The simplicity of this refreshing summer dish is astounding. Unsurprisingly, radish toast originated in France but I had to come back home to Utah (from Paris) to run across it. No matter, it’s a delicious bite that will be gracing our table all summer long.

You can make radish toasts for a big party as a conversation-producing appetizer or as a snack for one—but it’s impossible to have just one—go ahead and try it.

Directions:

  • Slice baguette into ½ inch thick slices.
  • Spread with a generous portion of softened European butter (I like Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter).
  • Hand slice or use a mandolin on the thinnest setting to slice radishes.
  • Arrange on buttered bread. (I know, the title says toast but there is really no need to actually toast the baguette slices, although you certainly could for added crunch.)
  • Sprinkle with lava salt.
  • Serve immediately.
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