Radish and Butter Tartines with Fleur de Sel
Radish and butter tartines with fleur de sel make an elegant and suuuuuper-easy accompaniment to a glass of wine. Here's how to make them in five minutes or less, and why you'll want to use good ingredients.
Take a note from France and don't overcomplicate simple pleasures. This five-minute appetizer is perfection.
I'd be happy to sign for those packages.
Lots of things about my job don’t suck. Being my own boss. Working from home. Rocking a flexible if sometimes demanding schedule. Getting to express myself baaaaasically however I want on a thrice-weekly basis. (Yeah, I said it: thrice.)
Here’s another, more recent development that also does not suck in the least: connecting with the French Ministry of Agriculture and five beautiful French brands, and receiving a veritable cascade of wines, butter and cheese from various regions of the country. Oh, hello, yes. I’d be happy to sign for those packages.
A call from country code +33
Here’s what arrived at my front door last week. I really encourage you to click through to learn more about this suite of deliciousness. Some of the websites are beautiful, too.
- Trimbach Riesling 2014 and Pinot Gris Reserve 2013, from Alsace
- Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2017, from Côtes de Provence
- Mas de Daumas Gassac Red 2015 and Sparkling Rosé 2016, from Languedoc
- Président Unsalted Butter, from Normandy
- Le Châtelain Brie, from Meuse
I mean, come ON, right? I also got to start my day last week with a call from country code +33, which never hurts.
Let's talk French products
Let’s talk a little bit about these gorgeous products, all of which are available in the U.S., and some of which are totally new to me. (Let’s just say Whispering Angel, Le Châtelain, Président and I have been well acquainted for quite some time.) One caveat about the photos: I got a little too focused on putting pretty colors together and didn’t really honor the pairing suggestions visually, which wasn’t very French of me. In real life we tasted and enjoyed this abundance of riches all together, and yes, the Mas de Daumas Gassac red belongs with the paté de campagne that I bought at our local French market. (Yup, we have one of those now. Just gonna roll with it.)
Trimbach Riesling 2014 and Pinot Gris Reserve 2013
Trimbach is a family company that’s been producing wine for three centuries and 13 generations. Their Alsatian vineyards are kind of epically located: sheltered from rain by the Vosges mountains and laying atop a fault line between the mountains and the Black Forest. Trimbach tells me this location offers “a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called ‘Muschelkalk,’ and I am going to take their word for it, because the wines are lovely.
The Riesling is minerally, fruity and nice and dry and would go VERY well with sushi if we were doing sushi right now instead of my favorite French foods. The Pinot Gris is a nice, full-bodied wine that I would drink on its own or with just about any light summer meal. Both wines are rated 90 points by Wine Spectator and retail in the U.S. for about $24.
Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2017
Do you guys know Whispering Angel already? I’ve been drinking a lot of it for the past few spring/summer seasons. For a while I felt like it was following me around NYC and NJ, and I wasn’t sorry about that in the least. Turns out it’s not just me. Château d’Esclans has had a lot to do with bringing rosé back into fashion worldwide. This wine is AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée) Côtes de Provence and is very easy to drink. It’s bone-dry, fresh and crisp and retails for about $22 in the U.S.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Red 2015 and Sparkling Rosé 2016
Okay, not gonna lie. This beautiful red is a little fancier than our “house wines,” and I’m delighted to have it in our kitchen. Mas de Daumas Gassac has farmed organically since 1940 and uses only natural winemaking practices and indigenous yeasts. This is a smooth as hell (when young, anyway), unfiltered wine that I would drink with virtually anything. Retails for $39-$45 in the U.S.
The award-winning sparkling rosé is a fresh, lively wine that’s a great accompaniment to hors d’oeuvres like the radish and butter tartines with fleur de sel pictured above (recipe below). That’s 5-minute, 4-ingredient appetizer even when you’re counting the salt, and along with the sparkling rosé or any of these wines it will transport you straight to a picnic in the French countryside.
Président Unsalted Butter and Le Châtelain Brie
You guys. Two words. Cultured butter. It’s got this tangy, complex, rich, savory, smooth thing going on, and you’ll never be the same. Americans kinda dumbed down butter once upon a time, and after a while none of us knew any better, so we all just acted like it was fine. It isn’t. Luckily France’s number one butter is also available in the U.S.
And…brie. Brie speaks for itself. But let me jump in anyway, if I may. Award-winning, creamy, lovingly sourced brie that nearly approximates the true raw milk cheeses of France, but was formulated for our “special” U.S. regulatory culture. This brie is made to sit on the table until it disappears. It holds its shape beautifully, just soft enough, yielding to a knife without collapsing. Bliss.
- 1 baguette, cut on a slight angle into 1/4-inch slices
- 8 tablespoons really good butter, at room temperature
- 8 radishes, sliced as thinly as possible
- Fleur de sel (flaky sea salt)
- Spread a generous amount of butter onto each baguette slice.
- Top with a few radish slices and sprinkle with fleur de sel.