Pickled Pink and Black Radishes

November 22, 2013


Author Notes: I grew a bumper crop of German black radishes this year. My initial excitement was tempered a bit when I tasted one and it was so pungent I could barely get it down, almost like horseradish or wasabi. But, after our first frost here in Portland, they've sweetened up quite a lot; now they're much milder, more like a turnip. I'm trying to take advantage of them now, in their sweet spot between searingly hot and woody-cored. This pickle is not only crisp and delicious, but also visually striking, especially if you leave the black skins on to contrast with the creamy white interior and vibrant peel of the smaller red radishes. These are delicious on sandwiches, with drinks, or chopped up on a bowl of warm, spicy Japanese curry.CrowKitchen

Makes: one quart

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 pinch whole black peppercorns

Radishes

  • 4 black radishes, each about 3" across
  • 1 bunch pink or red radishes

Directions

  1. Wash the radishes thoroughly, and trim stem and root ends. Thinly slice the black radishes (a mandoline is helpful here), then quarter or halve the pink radishes, depending on their size.
  2. To ensure crispness, soak the radishes in cold water with a handful of ice cubes while you make the brine.
  3. Combine vinegars, water, salt, sugar, and spices in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until salt and sugar dissolve and brine comes to a simmer.
  4. Drain the radishes, then pack tightly into a very clean quart jar.
  5. Pour the hot brine over the radishes to cover, tapping the jar on the counter to ensure no air bubbles are trapped near the bottom. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight before eating. These will keep, refrigerated, a month or so.