While bread and butter is a pairing that already tastes delicious on its own, you can still elevate it to the next level by combining it with a great topping. Starring today: cottage cheese and radishes.
Radishes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. Depending on the variety of the radish the flavour can be either mild or more pungent and peppery.
To get most of their vitamins, you should eat your radishes within two days of buying. When choosing radishes, always get the firm-skinned ones – otherwise you might end up with a slightly spongy texture and that puts a damper on every radish-related culinary adventure. Also: always trim off the green leaves before putting the radishes in the fridge. That way they stay longer fresh and crunchy.
The black radish has a strong, sharp flavour slightly reminiscent of horseradish. It also has a firmer, more dense texture than its little red cousin. For years it has been used in folk medicine in China and Europe as a remedy for colds, infections and respiratory problems. Another health benefit: it helps digestion to get back on track!
Store black radishes in a plastic bag in the fridge and they’ll keep for ever (or close to it).
Cottage cheese: you think you know it all the way through. You eat it, you forget about it – no surprises, no excitement. End of story. Wrong! Cottage cheese can turn your breakfast into a fireworks of flavour. A couple of basic ingredients and a pinch of imagination are really all it needs.
In German speaking countries, as an equivalent for cottage cheese, you should use full-fat Quark. Rahmkäse is a good substitute for cream cheese. And if you want to go all fusion, swap cottage cheese for ricotta.
Emmanuel’s cottage cheese spread
200 g unsalted cottage cheese
1/2 bunch of chives
salt & pepper
Finely chop half a bunch of chives, then cut up the radishes into little cubs and put into a bowl together with the cheese. Add salt and pepper and mix well together.
Gordon’s cottage cheese spread
200 g unsalted cottage cheese
1 medium sweet onion
Put the cheese into a mixing bowl, add the finely chopped onion and season to taste with salt.
If there is a Russian or Polish grocery store nearby, you should try to get tvorog/twaróg and use it instead of cottage cheese. It is a white curd cheese variety typical for the East European countries and a real winner in this kind of recipes. Remember to go for the full-fat kind. You will get some extra calories, true, but the flavour is much better too.
Since tvorog/twaróg has a more dry and crumbly texture than the regular cottage cheese (not to mention cream cheese), always add a few spoonfuls of sour cream or crème fraiche to make the mixture smooth.
Looking for something new? Try a finely grated black radish with your cottage cheese. Combine together with some salt in a bowl and serve with good sour-dough bread. If you want your spread to be all white, you should peel the radish before grating it. Also, if the radish comes with a thick skin, which is usually the case when you get older bulbs, then peeling it is a must.
Choose sour-dough bread over regular bread. It has heaps of flavour, stays fresh and delicious much longer and goes really well with both radishes and cottage cheese.