I was considering doing another cooked-radish recipe this time, but I really like the crunch and the slight spiciness of raw radishes. I thought about just cutting them up and putting them in salad. However, every time I do that, Liam is disinclined to eat them. So, knowing that he's much more likely to eat something if he can eat it in an interesting way (e.g., with a toothpick) or if it looks cool, funny, or pretty, I decided to try my hand at radish roses. I looked around online but wasn't impressed with the very simple--but quite unroselike--radish roses I found. And especially since the radishes we got this week are big, I thought I needed something more elaborate. So I decided to improvise.
They're still not amazingly roseish, perhaps, but I think they're pretty cool.
Rinse radishes. Cut top and tail off of each radish. Compost top and tail. Now it's time to make the petals. Position a paring knife along the rind of a radish, near the top. Make a deep, thin, petalesque slice, cutting about 3/4 of the way through. Turn the radish slightly and make another petal. Continue until you have petals around the entire edge of the radish (you'll probably have four or five petals). Then move inwards to create the inner petals, making additional deep, thin slices, continuing to turn the radish as you go. Be careful not to cut through the outer petals (or your fingers) as you slice. This is definitely detail-oriented work. The bigger the radish, the more layers of petals you'll be able to make. Once you're satisfied with the number of petals on your radishes, place them in a bowl of ice water and put the bowl in the fridge overnight--or for a couple hours at the very least. The petals of each radish rose will open up in the cold water.
Let me reiterate that Liam typically avoids eating radishes. Yet while I was in the process of creating the radish roses, Liam asked multiple times to taste them. But I cannot tell a lie: We had five small children at our dinner table tonight, and the two 21-month-olds are the only ones who even made a dent in their radish roses. The other three kids took a couple bites and that was it. Apparently even cool presentation couldn't trump the lack of desire for radishes?