Radish and Apple Salad with Homemade Ricotta on Crostini

Such a pity…the poor radish is completely underrated. So often it's the only veg left on the party platter. The baby carrots, broccoli spears and pepper strips are all long gone, but the pretty little radish rosette remains.
 
I remember as a kid my grandpa would eat radishes by the bushel-full. Each time we visited, he would try to convince my brother and I to eat just one. And one was enough for us. Although radishes look unassuming and almost inviting, one bite in and we knew, not again! No way were we falling for that trick again.
 
 
Now as an adult I can appreciate the radish. I love that when I take a bite, it bites back. ThisRadish and Apple Salad with Homemade Ricotta on Crostini is a healthier take on the classic French radish sandwich typically made by slathering butter on a baguette, topping it with sliced radishes and a sprinkling of salt. I’m certain that the mild creaminess of the butter pairs quite nicely with the spicy spunkiness of the radish. But butter sandwiches? Really? Do not misunderstand- I love butter, I just don’t know if having a butter sandwich is what I want to eat nor suggest others try.
 
If you find yourself in the camp of radish haters, put off by their peppery punch, this recipe just might change your mind. It's made with thinly sliced radishes, tart apples, ricotta, lemon and parsley- all atop a toasted crostini. The combo of flavors works perfectly, so much so, you just might find yourself seeking out those radish rosettes on the next party tray.


For more rediculously good radish recipes, check out the April issue of Cooking Light

Radish and Apple Salad with Homemade Ricotta on Crostini (recipe inspired from Rachel Ray's magazine, Oct 2012 issue)


Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread (we used Companion Bakery bread)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 10 radishes 
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups ricotta (store bought or follow homemade recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (growing again in the garden!)

Cooking Directions

  1. To make crostini: slice bread loaf into 1/4 inch thick slices, brush with olive oil; bake at 350 or grill until golden brown. Allow to cool.
  2. To make salad: thinly slice apples and radishes with a mandoline. In a medium bowl, toss together radishes, apples, juice and zest from lemon, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. To make ricotta: bring 6 1/2 cups of whole milk, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, and 1 tsp. salt to a simmer over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice and 2 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar, stirring until mixture curdles (about 1-2 min). Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve for about 30 minutes.
  4. And to assemble everything together: spread ricotta on crostini, top with radish salad and a sprinkle of parsley.

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