Intro

Radish Tartine with Pea Butter //NotWithoutSalt.com

I sort of feel like we’re about to embark on one of those slideshows your great aunt made you come over and watch. She’d lure you in with the promise of something delicious and then before she fed you there were slides of her latest vacation. The beauty of the Internet is you can go right on and scroll through the slathering of photos I’m about to share and jump right into the recipe.

If you are about to do that sort of thing let me first get you excited about the sandwich that tastes of a spring-flecked field. I’m not even sure what that means but I do know that one bite in and I was whisked completely out of winter and well into spring where things taste of green, of new life, of subtle sweetness, of timidity and a bubbling hope of things to come. All through my travels in London and Paris there were faint hints of spring; flower stands showing off their pastel hued wares on every corner, little buds breaking free from their cocoons and dotting the bare branches with signs of life, plump white and green asparagus, small strawberries with ruby flesh all the way to their core, peppery radishes and green peas that pop in your mouth like the sweetest candy.

As I often do with travel inspiration I took bits and pieces from our experiences throughout the trip and turned it into one dish. But I have to say that it was a simple radish salad from Spring that really set me on the path that led here. It wasn’t even my salad, it was Ashlae’s vegan option that she so kindly let me sneak a bite. It was the frilly pile of chartreuse lime zest on top of quartered radishes that lured me in. Radish and lime? Yes.

Radish Tartine with Pea Butter //NotWithoutSalt.com Radish Tartine with Pea Butter //NotWithoutSalt.com

A few days before the trip I recounted the itinerary  to some of my closest friends. I skimmed over a few words and places quickly moving passed just how amazing the following week was to be because frankly, it sounded too good to be true.

“I want to see you scream ‘I’m going to Paris!'” My dear friend told me. She wanted my face to light up and to acknowledge the crazy goodness that was this trip. I wanted to scream it too because of course I was ridiculously excited but vulnerability held me back.

Brené Brown talks about joy being the hardest emotion to experience. Seriously. I didn’t believe her at first but I totally get it because I do it; I always mask joy. If you have children I’m sure you’ve exhaustedly put them to bed only to wander back into their room to watch them sleep about 20 minutes later. You look down at their face; angelic and still, and your whole body feels tingly and on fire with love that overwhelms. That joy is abruptly halted when you play through all the horrific scenarios in which you could lose that love. Okay, moving right along before I puddle onto my keyboard at the thought.

Brené (I feel like we’re on a first name basis at this point) says, “We try to dress rehearse tragedy so we can beat vulnerability to the punch.”

I thought so often of my friend’s comment throughout the trip and I thought why I minimize my joy. In part I think I do it to protect those around me. I mean, my girlfriends that following week were all going to be home taking care of their babes while I was off prancing around Europe – that didn’t seem fair. But hiding my joy in the trip, I realize now, doesn’t protect them.

London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com

There’s another story Brené shares about a 60 year-old man who spent his whole life trying to beat his expectations to the punch. He said he was just going to stay right in the middle, that way if things didn’t work out he wasn’t devastated and if things went better than expected he was pleasantly surprised. And then his wife died and his immediate regret was that he didn’t live into his joy during their life together. Curbing his expectations and living in the middle did not protect him from the pain he felt at the loss of his wife of forty years.

I’m terrified when things are going so well because then I’m just waiting around knowing that at any moment somethings gotta give. At any moment I’m going to experience great pain or loss because life simply cannot be this great. You know what? That’s kind of true. Life is hard and things break and people we love die and we experience pain. That’s the truth. But the other truth is that numbing the joy in moments of happiness will not save us from experiencing great loss. Never fully experiencing  joy will not keep us from suffering.

Knowing that truth and walking into this trip with that reminder helped me to experience it with utter gratitude. It was such an amazing gift and even the whispers of fear that creep in as I’m typing this: “They’re going to hate you for gushing so much about how much fun you had. Why rub it in? The moment you hit publish on this post something’s gonna give but at least you wrote down the happy moments so you will always have that. Live it up now, girl because imminent doom is approaching quickly.” I want to actively practice gratitude and feel the joy because that is just the sort of life I want to live.

London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com London // NotWithoutSalt.com

So having said all of that let me tell you a bit about my crazy, wonderful trip.

I told my kids I was going on this trip to go make sure London and Paris was ready for our family trip in June. They all had a bit of nerves about the idea of a train going under the water so I assured them that I’d go check it out and make sure everything was up to snuff. I thought at this age they would pick up on the sarcasm but they didn’t. In fact it was that high speed under water train, Eurostar, that took me on this trip. London to Paris in just over two hours! I was a bit disappointed when the train didn’t dive into the water and flip its tail like a dolphin but I got over that the moment we arrived in Paris. Well, I think I actually was over it when we were drinking champagne on the way there.

Right before leaving another friend had texted, “Don’t worry about curbing your expectations because Paris is going to blow you away.” My friends know me so well. She knew that I was terrified of being disappointed by my first trip to Paris and she knew that that was such a silly fear. The moment I walked out of the train station I knew it too. Every where I looked beauty overwhelmed me. Butter colored buildings with black cast iron details that outline the windows and balconies and the smell of sizzling butter as we walked passed the waffles on the street. Cobble stone streets pave the way for market stands selling perfectly plump red currants. Every sense was open and I was taking it all in.

Look at that, somehow I skipped right passed London and am already talking about Paris. I love London. We toured the streets of Portobello and ate everything along the way, made traditional English scones and shortbread in a flat in Notting Hill , bought and sampled tea at Borough Market, and ate some of the best Indian food I’ve ever tried at Dishoom. On top of all of that Ashlae, Bev and myself took an epic walk all over the city taking in all the sites one must see when in London (hello, Big Ben!) We ate breakfast on top of the city at the Sky Garden  before getting on to the train and heading to Paris.

Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com Paris // NotWithoutSalt.com

In Paris we took another food tour all through Montemarte learning how to shop and chose the right places for baguettes, cheese, and chocolate (those stickers on the window? They actually mean something – like how many awards they’ve won. The French take that seriously). We had a private lunch/cooking class at Spring (remember the radishes?!), saw the waterlilies at the Museé de l’Orangerie and I cried big fat tears of joy. We ate macarons for breakfast at Ladureé  and ate fries and drank wine at the Cafe des 2 Moulins (otherwise known as the Amelie cafe) and Bev cried big fat tears of joy.

Notice a theme? Joy. And I lived it and felt it and am so incredibly thankful for it. Thank you to Eurostar for planning an epic trip. I also don’t know how you managed to choose the funnest group of folks to travel with but you did. Thanks.

Here’s the run down of most of the places we went. The highlights for sure:

London

Portobello Garden Italian Cafe
https://www.facebook.com/Portobello-Garden-Caffe-654459517967701/

R. Garcia & Sons (The UK’s best Spanish grocery)
http://rgarciaandsons.com/

Fabrique Swedish Bakery
http://fabrique.co.uk/

Books for Cooks
http://www.booksforcooks.com/

The Spice Shop (London’s tiniest, most fragrant shop!)
www.thespiceshop.co.uk 

Ceramica Blue
www.ceramicablue.co.uk

La Cave a Fromage (cheese & wine)
http://www.la-cave.co.uk/home.php

Melt Chocolates
http://www.meltchocolates.com/

Caroline Hope – Cooking Instructor

http://www.teaandscones.co.uk/

Dishoom

http://www.dishoom.com/

Sky Garden

http://skygarden.london/

Great Northern Hotel (LOVED this place)

http://www.gnhlondon.com/

Ace Hotel London

https://www.acehotel.com/london

Paris

Secret Food Tours

http://www.secretfoodtours.com/

Spring Restaurant

http://www.springparis.fr/

Museé de L’Orangerie

http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/en

Ladureé

https://www.laduree.com/en_int/

Café des 2 Moulins

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caf%C3%A9_des_2_Moulins

The Latin Quarter – just go, all of it is lovely.

Radish Tartine with Pea Butter //NotWithoutSalt.com

Radish Tartine with Pea Butter //NotWithoutSalt.com

 

*This trip was sponsored by Eurostar but the photos and gushing words are all mine.

 

Radish Tartine with Pea Butter and Lime

Serves 2

 

2 to 3 tablespoons pea butter (recipe below)

3 to 4 radishes, thinly shaved

1/4 cup radish sprouts (optional)

1/4 cup pea sprouts (optional)

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

a few mint leaves, roughly torn

flake salt

olive oil

thick cut bread, toasted (crispy on the outside with a soft interior)

 

For the tartine:

Slather the toasted bread with a good bit of the butter. Top with the thinly shaved radishes then the sprouts and mint. Finish with lime zest and flake salt and a light drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy right away.

Pea Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup fresh or frozen peas, blanched until tender

1/2 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon (or more) sea salt

 

Process everything in a food processor for at least a few minutes. You want to get the peas as smooth as possible.

For the best texture pass the butter through a fine mesh sieve.

Taste and add more salt if you’d like.

Store the pea butter in the fridge for up to one week.

 

33 Responses to “Radish Tartine with Pea Butter and Lime”

  1. Taste of France

    So glad you had a good trip. I have taken zillions of pictures of London and Paris and don’t have any as beautiful as the handful you posted here. And if you had posted a zillion, I would have looked at them all and savored each one–not like the great aunt’s slideshow!

    Reply
  2. Lindsay

    so thankful that you shared this Ashley. rings true for me on so many levels! also: love your trip pics. 🙂

    Reply
  3. sara forte

    I read Brene’s book as well and like the man in that story, also find myself trying to protect my heart by managing expectations. I’m told often by friends how lucky hugh and I are to work from home and be with our kids and do work we like to do but I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But healthcare! and retirement funds! and self-employment taxes! I feel like I am always just waiting ’til we can’t afford to do our life this way any longer. Only recently was I reminded by a friend to just allow this to be good! It is good now and that should be enjoyed! I forget that while I’m busy worrying. Anyway. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip. I was very jealous but I am thrilled that you had this opportunity and love seeing your pictures! Looks so magical and you capture it all so romantically. Can’t wait to follow the trip with the whole fam.

    Reply
  4. Angela Gordon

    Thank you for sharing your joy. I was looking forward to hearing your recap of the trip and will look forward to what you share of your trip in June.

    Reply
  5. Leslie

    Lovely post, Ashley. This really resonated with me. And you included some lovely pictures. Reading this as I sit in the London Gatwick airport on my way to Copenhagen, recounting my own time in London and now dreaming of Paris. And now very disappointed we didn’t get to try Dishoom. The wait was nearly 2 hours!

    Reply
  6. Hailey

    Ashley, I’m covered in goosebumps reading this post because these are exactly the words I needed to hear.

    I too feel beyond blessed to have the life I do, and constantly worry that something terrible is going to happen to change that. It was inspiring to hear that you’re breaking free of squashing your joy, and instead are going to live raw and in the moment.

    I’m vowing to do the same (and to make these tartines!), and so appreciate you sharing this. Thank you and I hope you had an amazing trip!

    Best,
    Hailey

    Reply
  7. kt

    Thanks for sharing your trip, the yummy recipes, and the fun. Years ago I titled my blog “Why Not?” because it made sense to me– we only get a certain amount of time here, so what possible reason could anyone have NOT to embrace all the joy they find? Love your blog.

    Reply
  8. Alissa

    Ashley, your words on joy are spot on. You’ve articulated this so wonderfully and have put words to feelings I have not been able to recognize myself.

    Reply
  9. Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow

    I’m actually drooling over all of these photos, Ashley! They’re just beautiful. I’m a sucker for radish toast-y kind of things and the addition of lime (so surprising!) sounds amazing.

    Also, I wanted to comment on the joy part of this write up. I cannot tell you how much I have experienced that feeling of, “Oh I can’t enjoy this too much. The other shoe is about to drop any minute, I just know it.” But you’re so right when you say,

    “Never fully experiencing joy will not keep us from suffering.”

    It’s something I’ve been working on for years, literally years. Feeling joy will not induce pain. Such a simple concept but so true.

    Thank you for always posting such thoughtful, real write ups. Every time I stop by your space, see your recipes and photos, read your words, I’m consistently reminded of why I started blogging in the first place. Thank you <3

    Reply
  10. Kristan

    Ashley, I absolutely love the way you write. I really appreciate everything you said in this post because I feel like I can identify with a lot of it. I am so glad that Brené’s book was able to bring a change in the way you were experience this incredible trip. I am going to have to check her book out right away.

    Thank you for your vulnerability.

    xx
    K

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Kristan, You are going to LOVE it. Rising Strong has been so powerful for me. I’m excited to connect with you soon and talk more about this away from the computer.

      Reply
  11. lyndy

    too much travelogue, not enough recipe. everybody doesn’t have time to read long beautiful posts when they might be in a hurry for a recipe.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Hey Lyndy, I totally respect people’s time and am happy if people want to skip the narrative and images and zoom right to the recipe. That’s why at the top of the post there’s a tab that says “recipe” and it will zip you right to the bottom so you only have to see the recipe.

      Reply
      • mrs. cugliani

        Personally Ashley, I adore reading your blogs posts. I love your long narratives and getting lost in your stories! I not only savor your words, but your beautiful photographs. And to have a delicious recipe in addition to all that makes you aces in every way in my book. Keep doing what you’re doing, you do it so well, and there are a lot of people who appreciate and enjoy it! A great big thank you!!!

        Reply
        • Ashley Rodriguez

          You are so sweet. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I really appreciate it. It’s hard to please everyone – so I don’t even try. I’ll just keep on doing what feels right to me and hopefully there’s enough people who are into it that I can keep going.

          Reply
  12. Laura

    Such a mega fan of this post (the photos!) because I ALSO feel like Brené and I are on a first name basis. There is such a tendency to let guilt and worry ride along with joy. In the age of notifications and everything else that’s all up in our face, it can be really hard to just purely feel and marinate yourself in the moment. Meditation has helped me with this personally, but so has not giving a you-know-what to other people’s thoughts.

    Gonna make a version of this with avocado instead of butter so, so soon 😀

    Reply
  13. Bridget

    I cried seeing Monet’s paintings, too. There’s just…something about them. Especially in that setting. Wondrous.

    Reply
  14. Ashlae

    I think I’ve read this post half a dozen times now (take me baaack) and just realized I’ve never left a comment. Anyway. I will never forget the look on your face when we walked out of Gare du Nord. NEVER. And I’m so happy you got to see Monet’s work – rather, that I convinced you that you had “more than enough” time to see it even though I really wasn’t sure but knew how bad you wanted to see those damn lilies. 😉 Over-the-moon thankful to know you and to have gotten the opportunity to spend six magical days with you. Let’s do it again soon, OK? Hugs, lady.

    Reply

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