Recipe: Pickled Radishes

This week, I’ve decided to tackle my growing pile of French Breakfast radishes by transforming them into a big container of bright pink, pickled radishes.  I’ve been enjoying them as a salty, crunchy snack every day after work, and the color just improves as it ages over time into a delightful, hot pink wonder.  Pickles are perfect for a healthy snack – as they come loaded with flavor, and full of veggie goodness!

I kept the brine in these pickles nice and light, because I personally prefer pickles that are not aggressively vinegar-forward.  I love the flavor of fermented foods, so I was trying to recreate that flavor by going for a more salty, sweet, and lightly acidic brine.  I added a serrano pepper for a little heat and some dried oregano for some herbal funk, which worked so well with the natural flavor of the radishes.  The brine also helped tone down the spicy, horseradish flavors that radishes naturally have, which was awesome to me (as someone who is not a huge horseradish fan!).

This recipe came together in about 10 minutes after thoroughly washing and scrubbing my radishes.  They store well in the fridge for about a week or so, so snack on them throughout the week and restock every so often!  The color comes from the natural color in the radish skins slowly coming out into the acidic brine, so your radishes will become more and more pink as they sit (the ones in my photo had aged for about 5 days).  This recipe makes a lot, so feel free to scale up or down depending on your radish supply!

Recipe down below, photo up top!

Pickled Radishes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bunches (about 30-40) French Breakfast radishes
    • Other smaller radishes will work here as well!
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water

Method:

  1. Remove the leaves from the radishes by either twisting and breaking, or using a pairing knife.  Place the radishes in a large colander and wash thoroughly to ensure that all of the dirt and sand have been removed from the radishes.  Allow the radishes to drain in the colander while preparing the brine.
  2. In a large sealable container or mason jar, add the dried oregano, thinly sliced serrano pepper, rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and water, and stir until the salt and sugar have thoroughly dissolved.  Taste the brine and adjust the flavors to your liking (add more salt/sugar/acid depending on flavor preferences).
    1. Note: Feel free to only use some/half of the serrano pepper or no pepper at all if you don’t like spicy!  The recipe will still turn out great!  Other peppers will work here too, depending on what you have.
  3. Cut the bottom root end and top stem ends off of each radish, and slice each radish in half (lengthwise).  Add the radishes to the brine as you go.
  4. Once all of the radishes are in the brine, give everything a quick stir and push the radishes into the brine to keep them as submerged as possible.  Add the lid to the jar/container and refrigerate the radishes. 
  5. Allow the radishes to brine for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.  Once your radishes have pickled, continue to store in the fridge and enjoy for up to a week.

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