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French Radish and Goat Cheese Tartines

French Radish and Goat Cheese Tartines

French Radish and Goat Cheese Tartines

Enjoy French radishes with just a little salt and butter, or as the crowning jewel atop these lovely goat cheese tartines.

I’ve had a long-held love for all radishes, but the one variety that really has my heart is the French Breakfast radish.  This long, slender variety — with its elegant, delicate white tips tied into pretty, little bunches at the base of their delicate, leafy green stems — is hard to pass up when I spot them at the market.

With a crisp texture and a mild, spicy, sweet flavor, the beautiful French Breakfast radish has an elongated shape with a deep pink skin at the top that gradually fades to white at the bottom.  The earlier these radishes are harvested in the growing season, the smaller the size and the more delicate the flavor. Although a little less spicy than other varieties, the French Breakfast radish still has “bite”. They are truly one of the simplest pleasures of the new spring season that is arriving.


There may be no simpler way to enjoy this slender spring vegetable than in the classic French manner: raw, with butter and salt.  Despite their name, they aren’t typically eaten for breakfast.  Instead, they are eaten as a snack or an appetizer.  In my family, they would always be served as an hors d’oeuvre, a pre-dinner snack, or for brunch.

The radish leaves were carefully trimmed to remove all but a small part of the green stem that would serve as the handle.  Then the root tip was cut off, and the body of the radish cut with an “x” at the bottom so that the stem remained attached, but the radish itself opened and flowered outwards.  This created the perfect pocket in which to place a generous dollop of nicely softened, salted butter, usually from Noirmoutier (an area of France known for its sea salt marshes that are rich in minerals).  Then, the butter-filled radish would be delicately sprinkled with just a smidge more fleur de sel (yes, more salt — this has never seemed to concern the French).

French Radish and Goat

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But sometimes a bit more sustenance is needed, and a “tartine” is just the thing.  The verb “tartiner” means “to spread with,” so a “tartine” is simply the name for a slice of bread spread with toppings; very similar to what the Italians call crostini.  It’s usually quite basic, just a slice of bread with a thin layer of toppings.  “Tartines” can be eaten sweet (for example, with butter and jam for breakfast) or salty (with cheese and vegetables for a light meal).  The essence of a “tartine” is the use of good bread accented by a few choice toppings.

A traditional radish “tartine” would involve a thin layer of butter on baguette topped with sliced radishes and sea salt, but butter is not the radish’s only friend.  The creaminess of goat cheese also pairs beautifully with the spicy, crunchy French Breakfast radish.

For my tartines I first spread a layer of creamy goat cheese speckled with bits of chopped black olives and then shingle another layer of thinly sliced radishes.  To add a little green, I sprinkle a few mild and crisp sunflower sprouts on top and finish them with a drizzle of peppery, extra virgin olive oil and, yes, of course, a little pinch of sea salt.  Crunchy, creamy, peppery, fresh and very satisfying, that is the beauty of the “tartine” — its ability to unite and elevate a handful of simple ingredients into a proper meal.

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French Radish and Goat Cheese Tartines

French Radish and Goat Cheese Tartines

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Honest Cooking
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 portions 1x


Enjoy French radishes with just a little salt and butter, or as the crowning jewel atop these lovely goat cheese tartines.


Units Scale
  • 1 small loaf Whole Grain bread or 1 French Baguette
  • 8 oz (227g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 TB (30ml) milk (any kind)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) Kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch French Breakfast Radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch sunflower sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Fleur de sel for seasoning


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Set your oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice the whole grain bread or baguette into 1/4-inch slices. If using a baguette, slice it lengthwise then cut each half crosswise into four pieces.
  2. Toast the Bread: Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes until they are lightly golden at the edges but still soft in the middle.
  3. Prepare the Spread: In a bowl, mix the goat cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until you achieve a creamy, spreadable consistency. Add more milk if needed. Fold in the finely chopped olives.
  4. Assemble the Tartines: Spread the goat cheese mixture onto one side of each slice of toasted bread. Arrange radish slices over the cheese in a slightly overlapping fashion. Top with sunflower sprouts.
  5. Finish: Drizzle each tartine with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel to taste.
  6. Serve: Offer as a delightful appetizer or a light meal. Yields approximately 8 servings as appetizers or 4 as a light meal.


  • Ensure the goat cheese is at room temperature to facilitate easier mixing and spreading.
  • Adjust the amount of milk based on the consistency of the goat cheese; different brands may vary in firmness.
  • Toasting the bread to just golden ensures it retains some softness for a pleasant texture contrast with the crisp radishes and creamy cheese.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Brunch
  • Method: Oven Baking
  • Cuisine: French American
View Comments (7)
  • Sylvie – So nice to see you here. I am a huge fan of radish and often just eat them with salt. But i can see how this is delicous. Need to try this next time.

  • I’ve often heard about this but have yet to try it. Your post was published at the perfect time…I just came back from the market and I bought radish.

  • Sylvie I am so happy that we are able to share this wonderful experience together!!! Before everything launched I kept wondering if I would know anyone and so you could imagine my joy when I saw your name along with a couple others :) I think this is the perfect first post: simple, elegant and comforting. Looking forward to the many other beautiful ones to come

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