I’ve just been at my excellent public library, where I was thoroughly depressed by the vast numbers of diet books pushed into prominent positions on the shelves. I don’t want to make life hard for the lovely librarians, but I cheered myself up by swapping some of them for better, more interesting cookbooks by people who genuinely love food and eating. I can’t be the only one who wants to dive into a cronut at the sight of some of those preachy titles, all ‘written’ by strange robots with rictus grins and perfect hair. But I digress. I was in the cookbook section because I was wondering what to make when we have some friends over in the weekend. It’s a bit like going shopping for something to wear because you can’t stand your clothes – sometimes you just need a bit of perspective.
Anyway, I got so cross at all the diet/dreamy lifestyle bollocks books that I forgot about looking for dinner inspiration and so we’re going to have my never-fail feeding a crowd of people of various shapes and sizes option – this easy barbecued, butterflied lamb, with various accompaniments. One of those accompaniments is going to be this lovely radish tzatziki, which I invented a week or so ago. Oh, and we’re going to have lots of wine and a great big pudding!
All the gardening books (and no doubt the lifestyle book writers) will tell you that radishes are easy and fast to grow. This is true, unless they are pecked out by birds or you have a drought. My first top tip, as a former lifestyle writer (albeit without perfect teeth and great hair), is to buy a packet from the shops. So quick! So easy! And there’s no sugar! My second top tip is to use the grating attachment on your food processor to shred the radishes. This will save time, energy and your expensive manicure.
1 clove garlic, smashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup thick, full-fat Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups shredded radishes, plus a few more for garnishing purposes
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
Put everything in a bowl and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with barbecued lamb and pita breads, or pork chops, or anything you like really. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to two days.
I think I might be coming around to radishes. So I love the sound of this and am sure you will put on a great feast. As for diet books, I like your guerilla activity in the library – I guess they are out to satisfy the new years resolutions but good food wins every time.
Ah you do make me laugh and I am with you. I love my library and go there to support it, but the diet books bring me down, ‘written’ as you describe well by strange robots with rictus grins. I avoid them. I would not be brave to alter the display, but envy you to do so.
I grew up eating radishes as my parents grew them amongst the mustard and spinach in the garden, so I love the sound of this. My parents still make something similar but natural yogurt,in place of your mint there would be coriander and seasoning would be salt and chilli !
One of the vast number of jobs I had years ago was as a librarian. The people who came into the library were largely divided into two groups: a small group of really nice, interesting people and a very large group of deeply disturbed, angry and often slightly crazed individuals. If you’d come in and started changing my display, then I’d definitely have put you in the former group because you were actually interested in books. I do grow radishes but I have a net that keeps birds out. Failing that, I have a good supermarket. If summer ever rolls around again, I’ll be making some radish tzatziki.