Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pickled radishes: make and use

Pickled radish and avocado bruschetta
I have posted about pickled radishes before but this is different.

These are MY radishes.

That is, I grew these radishes in my garden. From seed I sowed directly into the ground.

This may not sound like a big deal to you but it actually is. You see, I'm still a gardening novice and, given the super-short summer growing season here in Vermont, I start all my garden plants inside during the late winter and then transplant them into the garden.

Frankly, I'm a little gun-shy about direct sowing.

Two years ago, I tried direct sowing carrot seeds -- and got nothing.

Last year, I tried turnips -- and got nothing.

So I held out very little hope for the radish seeds I planted this year when I transplanted all my seedlings.


I can't tell you the feeling of accomplishment I got from this bunch of radishes.

After using them to make numerous radish and arugula salads, I decided to pickle the remaining bunch.

Easy and delightful!

This time around, I modified David Liebovitz's recipe but you should also try my friend Liz's variation, which substitutes plain rice vinegar for the white.

As you can see, this batch ended up as a lovely bruschetta. Toast some crusty french bread, slather it with mashed avocado and top with the chopped radishes. Amazing! The creaminess of the avocado balances the tang of the radishes: totally addictive.

Do you pickle radishes? How do you use them? The Ninj wants to know.

Pickled Radishes (adapted from David Liebovitz)
This makes quite a bit of brine, given that I don't know how big your radishes or bunches will be. Don't be surprised if there's some leftover.

1 large bunch radishes, scrubbed and ends trimmed
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
4 sprigs fresh dill

Pack the radishes and dill into pint jars. Add the garlic and peppercorns (divide evenly across the jars -- I only used two).

In a large saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Pour the hot brine into the jars, leaving a little bit of space at the top. Seal and let them cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Radishes will be pickly and ready to eat in one day but will get even picklier as they sit.


  1. Hooray for pickled radishes! Tacos would not be the same without them. And I hear you on the pride in your homegrown produce--I think all of us growing food are ridiculously happy when we pull our first peas off the vine (or whatever else). :)

  2. Radishes, yes, but don't mention peas -- mine are withering on the vine. :-(

  3. You know what's even better than radishes growing from seed you sowed? Radishes growing from seeds you growed. Er, I mean - let some of the radish plants go to seed and save those seeds for next spring or even this fall. I haven't pulled it off with all my plants yet, but I've got a couple of things in the garden on their third or fourth generation. Plus, it's kind of fun to make your own seed packets. Or find enough mint tins to put all your seeds in.

  4. Excellent idea, trashmaster -- except that I've eaten them all now. :-) But I'm going to do another planting, so I will keep that in mind. Now THAT will be true sustainability, right?

  5. How long will they keep?

  6. The safe bet is always one week to 10 days. That being said, I had my batch (not Robyn's!!) and they were fine after 2 weeks.