Turn Your Radishes (and Radish Greens!) Into These Springy Tartines

Justin Chapple makes Radish Tartines with Green Butter on this week’s episode of Mad Genius. 

Although summer is just around the corner, we've still got a few weeks of spring left — and what better way to celebrate than with a dish that celebrates radishes, one of our seasonal favorites? On this week's episode of Mad Genius, Food & Wine Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple prepares Radish Tartines with Green Butter, which use radishes and Japanese turnips in two ways. The greens, which you might typically discard, are saved and whipped into green butter, while the radishes and turnips themselves are ultra-thinly sliced for topping the tartines. The recipe is inspired by the classic French pairing of radishes and butter, and makes for a finished dish that's fresh, colorful, and "screaming spring," as Justin says.

Read on for Justin's method and follow along with the video above so you can make the tartines at home.

Prep your vegetables

First, gather your mixed radishes and Japanese turnips, trimming off any ends as necessary, and carefully slice them very thinly with a mandoline. Use the safety guard when slicing, and if you'd like, wear cut-proof gloves as well so that your fingers are protected.

Once you've sliced them all, transfer the radishes and turnips to a bowl filled with ice water so they can soak for 10 minutes. This will mellow out their bite and also help make them extra crunchy. Once done, make sure to drain them well and pat them dry.

Whip the butter

While the radishes and turnips soak, you can make your green butter. Take the reserved radish and turnip greens, wash them and pat them dry, and add them to a food processor along with room temperature unsalted butter, finely grated lemon zest, a finely grated garlic clove, and finally, some flaky sea salt and black pepper. Blitz everything together until a (mostly) smooth green butter forms; season the butter with more salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to scrape out as much of the butter as you can from the food processor so that nothing goes to waste — if any of it clings to the blade, Justin demonstrates a handy trick for solving that problem.

Radish Tartines with Green Butter
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Cook Varner

Build your tartines

At this point, you're ready to assemble your tartines. Take lightly toasted slices of soft rustic bread — Justin uses wheat bread in the episode — and slather some green butter on each. Then, top with slices of radish and turnip, sprinkle on more salt, and finish the tartines with crushed red pepper. Don't forget to have lemon wedges on hand for serving, too.

"This is screaming spring," Justin says after trying one. "The greens from those radishes and those Japanese turnips just takes that whipped butter to the next level. I mean, it is so flavorful. And because we soaked those radishes for about 10 minutes in the ice water, they are extra crunchy and super juicy."

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