Radish Sandwiches with Anchovy and Herb Butter

By Helen Graves •

There is an irritating trend at the moment for building skyscraper sandwiches. As much as Helen enjoys a hamburger topped with slow braised meat, crackling, cheese, sauce, salad and a referral to a diabetologist as much as the next carnivorous glutton, she thinks it’s time to scale back a little.

It’s all getting a little bit out of hand; a little bit…dare I say it, gross. Vulgar, even. Why is it that we seem to have started a game of sandwich trumps, the winner determined by the amount of different meats and fat they can ram between two pieces of bread? 
There is a lot to be said for clean and simple pleasures and I invite you to enjoy some in the form of delicate vegetable sandwiches. What? Now come on, bear with me; especially you at the back with the meat sweats.
Lots of vegetables will work in a sandwich like this; try thinly slicing young courgettes, topping with feta cheese, fresh red chilli and really good extra virgin olive oil. You could also replace the courgette with that summer classic, the trusty cucumber.
And what about the often over-looked tomato sandwich? It’s hard to beat if you can ever get your hands on a decent fruit. Easier said than done but we must remain hopeful. In the event that you do find one, take action quickly. Slice that fragrant orb and lay it down onto the freshest bread you’ve ever held in your hands, spread thickly with golden butter. Sprinkle the lot with flaky salt and a grind of pepper and then eat it, immediately. Be very serious about this last point; the tomato sandwich demands to be eaten as soon as it is made, or else one risks ending up with the saddest sandwich situation possible: soggy bread.

My favourite sandwich in this genre however is this snazzy radish number. Make a very savoury butter by smooshing in a few fillets of anchovy and a mixture of herbs; I’ve used chives, dill and parsley, but tarragon or chervil would put a different and pleasant perspective on things. Spread it thickly on soft white bread and top with wafer-y slices of the perkiest radishes you can find. Top with a tinkle of flaky sea salt and some pepper. I think it’s one of the finest, freshest and prettiest sandwiches around, actually, and the antithesis of all that meat-mountain willy waving.

Radish Sandwiches with Anchovy and Herb Butter

(makes 2 sandwiches)

4 thin slices white bread
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
5-6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon parsley leaves, finely chopped

In a bowl, mix together the butter and anchovies, then stir in the chopped herbs. Spread all four slices of the bread with butter. Top two of the bread slices with a layer of radishes, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sandwich the slices together and eat immediately, crust-less, if desired.

For more radish recipes, visit Great British Chefs collection.


Helen Graves

Helen is a food writer based in Peckham, South East London. She is the author of several books including 101 Sandwiches. She has written for The Guardian, The Times and The Evening Standard and authors two food blogs, Food Stories, and The London Review of Sandwiches. Her writing and recipes are inspired by the diversity of Peckham in South East and she is a sandwich and jerk chicken addict. She spent six years perfecting her recipe for jerk marinade, which is available to buy via her blog and in various shops in London. She won the Food Writer of the Year Award at the 2013 Young British Foodie Awards where judge Ottolenghi praised her 'jaw droppingly foul mouth'. She is also studying for a PhD in psychology.

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