No one in my household likes radishes. Not really, anyway. Neither M nor (e) eat radishes. I like them, but only in very small amounts in salads. The sharp spiciness can be quickly overwhelming for me. Note: daikon is the exception. Daikon is so mild that I can eat a lot of it and (e) enjoys it in some applications.
Last year, our CSA provided us with a number of radish bunches and I learned to use their tops to make pesto but was always at a loss to what to do with the actual radishes. I tried roasting them and accidentally overcooked them. This year, I am experimenting with pickling and preserving, thanks to (e) giving me a kimchi-making kit for Christmas, and decided to pickle the CSA radishes.
My online research led me to many different recipes. Most used cider vinegar, which isn’t in my larder, so I filed those away for later. A few used rice vinegar, which I also don’t have. I managed to find one which used plain white vinegar, which I do have in stock. This recipe on how to preserve radishes on “grow it cook it can it” includes a much larger set of herbs than I grow in my garden, but it seemed doable so I went for it.
I had to make adjustments based on what was in my larder at the time. Garlic for garlic stem. No fennel (blech, I am not a fan). No fresh marjoram in my garden. Also, I had only a small bunch of radishes, so I cut the recipe to a third. This isn’t a “quick pickle”: I had to wait three days before seeing if I would like the recipe.
I really loved how the radishes turned out! Still crispy and fresh but their bite has mellowed, replaced with a wonderful tart pickle flavor. I opened the jar and pretty much ate all except two radishes, which probably won’t last the night. Looking forward to making this again this Tuesday.
Wine-and-Vinegar Pickled Radishes
Eaten cold, straight out of the jar from the fridge
1 small bunch of radishes
1/3 cup sauvignon blanc
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 garlic clove, peeled but kept whole
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
In a nonreactive pot, combine all the ingredients except the radishes, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 sprig of oregano. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn to medium and simmer for five minutes. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool completely.
Nearly cut the radishes into quarters lengthwise but don’t cut through one end, so they end up exposing more surface area to the pickling liquid without cutting the radishes into slivers. I used the photograph at “With a Glass” of pickled pink radishes as inspiration.
Pack the radishes into a clean jar of appropriate size (mine fit into a pint jar), including the remaining sprig of thyme and oregano. Remove the garlic, and the sprigs of thyme and oregano from the cooled pickling liquid before pouring the brine into the jar so it covers all of the radishes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least three days before eating.