I have this thing about radishes. I can't resist their beauty at the farmers' market, but once I get them home I'm usually not raring to eat them. Before they go bad, I'll toss them with vinaigrette or sprinkle them with soy sauce, and I'm looking forward to roasting them sometime soon. But in the meantime, Susan Hermann Loomis's French Farmhouse Cookbook inspired me to dip them in a pungent "fromage blanc" that resembles a very soft but still spreadable scallion cream cheese.
The formula below is the result of my taking many liberties with the original recipe, and you should certainly do the same. I will insist only that you use low-salt cottage cheese if possible, so that you can salt to your own taste. (If you have access to proper fromage blanc, then you needn't whiz together cottage cheese and yogurt at all; simply stir in your chosen herbs into 2 cups of fromage blanc.) Where Loomis uses sorrel and chives, I used the spring onions I had on hand; I would have used garlic scapes if they weren't over at my market, and I'll try other combinations of soft herbs as the season wears on.
With bread and crudités, this creamy treat will give your guests something to nibble while you finish cooking. The same platter on its own could be a simple meal celebrating radishes—especially if you put out good butter and salt for people who enjoy them that way.
- 1 pound cottage cheese, full or low fat, low sodium if possible
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt, whole or skim
- About 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion or scallions, mostly whites but some greens, too
- Lemon (optional)
- Cream or crème fraîche (optional)
Put the cottage cheese and yogurt in the bowl of a food processor and process until completely smooth, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the chopped onions and taste for salt. The spread is good as is, but you may also brighten it up with a squeeze of lemon or enrich it with a spoonful or two of cream or crème fraîche.