These easy to make, tasty pickles are ready to eat within 24 hours. They look especially attractive if you make them with a colorful variety such as watermelon radishes.
- 2 pounds radishes (greens removed)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt (kosher, sea or other coarse non-iodized salt)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 sprigs dill leaves (OR 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, divided)
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (divided)
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (divided, OR 1 small hot chili pepper)
- Wash the radishes. Slice off the stem ends and tips. If using watermelon or daikon radishes, peel them. Leave cherry belle and other rosy-skinned radishes unpeeled. Slice the radishes into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Smaller radishes can be simply cut in half, and very small ones (less than an inch in diameter) can be left whole.
- Divide the dill, garlic, bay leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and pepper flakes (if using) between two glass pint jars. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe, but they should be scrupulously clean.
- Pack the radishes in with the spices.
- Bring the water, vinegar, honey and salt to boil in a small pot, stirring to dissolve the honey and salt. Skim off any foam and discard. Pour the hot brine over the radishes and seasonings. The radishes should be completely immersed in the brine.
- Tightly cover and store in the refrigerator.
Pickled radishes will be ready to eat in 24 hours, but will be even better if you can wait a week before serving them. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months but are best if eaten within 3 months. They are still safe to eat after 3 months, but they will start to lose some crunchiness and the flavor will not be as good.
Pickled radishes are good chopped and added to grain-based salads such as tabouleh.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon curry powder to each jar for a curried pickle that is good served with Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
- Use just 1 pound of radishes and add 1 pound of peeled, sliced carrots for a colorful mixed pickle.
- Instead of the garlic, use 1/2 a small onion, peeled and sliced, for a milder pickle.