Nature's Easter Egg

Easter egg radishes, just in time for the holiday. (Kim O'Donnel)

As Easter preparations get underway for many this weekend, eggs of either the hardboiled or chocolate variety will be part of the equation, particularly if children are involved.

How I loved finding a basketful of chocolates, marshmallow chicks and jellybeans nestled amidst a faux bed of grass, magically delivered by the one and only Bunny on Easter Sunday morning.

And how I loved a chocolate egg -- hollow, coconut or cream filled or covered with a speckled candy coating. Any one would do the job of sending me into a sugar high. These Easter confections were no match to the ovum from the chicken coop, dyed all pretty, only to be part of a game that failed to intrigue me.

I remember wondering why other kids liked to playing hide and seek with Easter eggs that weren't chocolate. Why would I want to collect painted hard-boiled eggs, which are the yuckiest things on Earth, I thought. And still do.

Now, thankfully, there are radishes filling in for those hardboiled numbers -- but without the shell OR the smell. The beauties, above, are Easter Egg Radishes -- and no, that's not a name I made up. They're the ultimate Easter treat, visual or gustatory. I love 'em as a centerpiece in all their Easter finery, but they're also quite tasty as a crispy snack or in salads.

I like them sliced very thin, with a hint of salt, and sometimes a little dip in olive oil. A traditional way to do radishes is atop bread points, with a smear of butter. Try them with other crunchies, like fennel and frisee, and sweeten things up with a honeyed vinaigrette and just a touch of orange. Lovely.

Match them up with a piece of seared fatty fish such as wild salmon or tuna. Dip them in honey if you've got a nagging cough. Try them with a hint of chevre. The choices are nearly as tantalizing as a basket of chocolate eggs. (Well, sort of.)

Share your favorite ways to eat a radish in the comments area below.

By Kim ODonnel |  April 5, 2007; 11:13 AM ET Spring Discoveries
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classic, and not healthy, tea sandwich: paper thin radish slices, thinly sliced homemade (or good quality) white bread or thinly sliced pimpernickle, sweet (unsalted) butter, salt.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 12:25 PM

Radishes quartered and sauteed until warm in butter. (not very cholesterol healthy but TASTY)

Posted by: Jersey | April 5, 2007 12:38 PM

My grandmother would put a little olive oil in a bowl with salt to taste and add sliced radishes. She would spear the radish with a fork, dab the dripping oil on a piece of bread and then eat the radish. As a child I was not impressed, as an adult I enjoy this treat when our first radishes pop up in the garden.

Posted by: late to the party | April 5, 2007 2:43 PM

As a child, my family filled the salt dips and we dipped the radishes in them. As an adult, I do not eat these radishes. Give me red beets anytime.

Posted by: Burp! | April 5, 2007 8:15 PM

My husband and I eat radishes as a snack while reading or watching TV. Healthier than chips or buttered popcorn, they are absolutely delicious.

I detest egg yolks and love the whites. I know that makes me an oddity. Irish setter Declan loves when Mom gets a fried egg craving because he adores the yolks. So many times on cooking shows I have seen chefs break a coddled or poached egg on the top of a dish for an extra "treat." Gag.

Posted by: Judi Hershel | April 6, 2007 9:26 AM

I made a delicious omlette involving French breakfast radishes last night. I cut a couple radishes into thin slices and sauteed them in olive oil with some arugula. Then I poured 3 egg whites over the mixture and cooked until the egg just started to get firm. I sprinkled some feta on one side of the mixture, folded the other side over, and cooked a few minutes longer. A sprinkle of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper finished the preparation. It tasted like spring, it was healthy, and everything except the salt and pep came from the Arlington farmer's market!

Posted by: caroline | April 6, 2007 9:46 AM

Red potato salad dressed with olive oil, vinegar, shallots, S&P, and lots and lots of sliced radishes.

Posted by: FB | April 6, 2007 12:29 PM

sliced and tossed with olive oil, blanched snap peas, feta and a little vinegar of choosing..

or, in the alternatice, sauteed in peanut oil with snow peas, sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes and a toss of sherry..

Posted by: lirc | April 8, 2007 5:01 PM

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