On the eve of last year’s Super Bowl Sunday, we threw a dinner party with our own kind of couch-potato small plates menu of wintery finger foods. Football worthy, even Oscars material!
First up, a cold platter of thinly sliced watermelon radishes (named for their starburst-pink coloration) topped with a dollop of turnip-horseradish mash and a small square of cultured French butter and sea salt. Best of all, this dish requires next to no cooking—mostly just prep time and decoration geekiness—so you can spend quality time with your guests. Maybe even just turn the TV off.
Watermelon Radish Bites
1 turnip, peeled and stemmed
1 small potato (a purple Peruvian would work awesomely), peeled
3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh horseradish
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 watermelon radish
2 tablespoons French butter, cut into small chunks (optional)
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
1) Bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Add turnip and potato and cook until just tender to a knife blade, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove, rinse with cool water and set aside.
2) Clean the saucepan, then heat your butter or oil in it. Add garlic and horseradish for a quick sauté on medium heat. Add the potato, turnip, stock and cream, and cook for about 5 minutes while mashing with a wooden spoon. Finish the job with a handheld mixer (seriously, buy one).
3) Slice the radish into thin circles or semicircles and arrange on a platter to serve. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of turnip-potato mash and a small chunk of butter, then sprinkle with a couple of grains of sea salt and white pepper.
Soundtrack: Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain