Rye Bread Toasts

This week’s loaf makes excellent crostini to pair with smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche.

Ingredients:
Jewish rye bread
Olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Thinly slice the rye loaf into ¼-inch-thick pieces with a serrated knife and place slices on a baking sheet.

2. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then slip pan into a 375º oven and bake crostini for 10-15 minutes, until bread is golden brown and slightly crisp. Remove from oven, and serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.)

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Incredibly sweet and juicy, these roasted beauties are wonderful atop crostini.

Ingredients:
1 pound rainbow cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 300°. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the tomatoes with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tomatoes to the prepared rack

2. Roast the tomatoes until skins are shriveled but tomatoes are still plump, about 1 1/2 hours. Let tomatoes and their juices cool to room temperature.

Variations: For added punch, toss tomatoes with your favorite fresh herb, such as thyme or oregano, or minced garlic, before roasting.

Tempered-Butter Radishes

These dipped radishes make for a wonderful starter or snack!

Ingredients:
Baby red radishes, green tops intact
1 pound butter, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons fleur de sel

Method:
1. Gently wash the radishes in ice water, removing any dirt from the greens. Dry them well.

2. Temper the butter by placing it over moderate heat.* Once tempered, season the butter with the fleur de sel.

3. Dip the bottom half of the radishes into the tempered butter. Dip a second time and gently shake to remove any excess butter from the bottom. Place the butter-coated radish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill the radishes in the refrigerator until the butter is set.

*To temper butter, it’s easiest to use a double boiler, placing the butter over a pot of boiling water instead of directly heating the butter. Let the butter melt and heat up, then whisk occasionally until it thickens and stabilizes. It’s fully tempered when it has the consistency of melted chocolate.

Buttered Radishes with Poached Eggs

Tender radishes and shallots are topped with a silky poached egg for the perfect finish.

Ingredients:
1 pound radishes
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon assorted chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint and thyme
2 large slices of toasted pumpernickel bread
2 eggs
Sea salt

Method:
1. In a skillet, heat butter over medium low heat. Add in the shallots and let cook it begins to soften, 2-3 minutes. Slice radishes in half and add to butter. Season well with salt. Cover and let cook until radishes are tender, 5-6 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

2. While radishes cook, poach the eggs.

3. To serve, place toast on a plate, generously cover with radish mixture, then sprinkle with herbs and top with a poached egg each.

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