Monday, January 14, 2013

Pickled Radishes

With the winter season has come a slightly shrunken garden. I have some winter crops growing (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, peas) but none of them have produced much of anything yet, except my radishes. They were ready for harvest last weekend, poking their red heads out of the ground for a couple weeks until I yanked them out of the soil and saw how long they'd actually gotten, which was pretty long. I have a longstanding love with the radish, as is evidenced by this fun little short film I made when I was just a wee teenager. Nowadays the radishes I prefer to grow are of the French Breakfast variety, which means they're tall and skinny with a bright crimson coloring and cute little white bottoms.

But last week's harvest was small. There were only two of them, to be precise, and I wasn't sure what to do with just two radishes. I could eat them fresh, sure, but I wanted to make them last a bit longer. So I decided to make an incredibly small batch of pickled radishes, using only two radishes and an 8-ounce mason jar. I used a basic pickling recipe borrowed from David Lebowitz' pickled radish recipe, and after about an hour of prep and canning I had a nice little jar of pickled radishes. I let them sit for a week and then used them an a garnish on some tacos I'd made last night. Wonderful! Tangy, crunchy, juicy, and slightly spicy, they added just the right amount of complementary flavors and textures to the rich and meaty pulled pork tacos. I think they'd make a tasty sandwich or salad topping, too!

Also, last week I held a giveaway for some amazing works by Abrams books, and this week I am announcing the winner. Drum roll please...........!

Congratulations Brianne!

I will be getting in contact with you shortly about your lovely new books! And a huge thank you to everyone who entered. This was my favorite giveaway because of the huge response and the wonderful comments about each of your favorite food/gardening/craft books. Reading through them all brought me much joy :)


2 Large French Breakfast Radishes
3/4 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Water
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled but whole
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Whole Black or Rainbow Peppercorns
1 Small Dried Red Chili Pepper (about 3 inches long)
(1) 8-Ounce Mason Jar, sterilized

Thoroughly rinse the radishes with water. Peel them, cut off the green top and small root bottom, and then cut them into 1/8 inch thick slices. Place in the mason jar with the dried chili and garlic cloves.

Heat the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and peppercorns in a small pot until the mixture begins to boil and the salt and sugar dissolve into the liquid. Remove the pot from the heat and pour its contents into the mason jar, leaving 1/4 of an inch of head space.

Tightly screw on the cap. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then label the jar with the date it was made and refrigerate it. I recommend letting it pickle for 5 days before using, but make sure to eat the contents within one month of the date they were pickled.


  1. Brianne won! Yay! (I'm realizing as I type this that it's kind of silly that I'm excited that someone else won a contest. But I love it when this blog world feels like a cozy space filled with my favorite people.) (:

    Pickled radishes sound so good. I bet I'd love using them in place of regular pickles. (As I developed a love of vinegar-y things I came to tolerate the standard sandwich pickle, but I guess I'm just not a very big fan of cucumbers.) Radishes, however, I adore!

    Have you been getting hit by the cold CA weather spell I've been hearing about? All those poor crops... I hope it lets up soon.

    1. It is so fun when you get to know the food bloggers of the internet and it really does feel like a little village where we all get to interact with one another :)

      And the weather - yes, it's terrible! My triplex has no insulation and so it's freezing cold inside too. There was ice on my windshield a couple times last month, which was SUPER bizarre for North Hollywood, and my bell peppers are dying from the chill :( Luckily all of my other plants are a bit more cold hardy. The tomatoes aren't growing much at the moment but they're not dying either, so that's good haha.

  2. your radishes look a lot different from the ones to which i'm accustomed! i wonder if they taste the same. i've never made or eaten pickled radishes, but i've never had a pickled item that i didn't like...except eggs. :)

    1. Pickled eggs! That is a new one, I could definitely imagine it not tasting particularly pleasant haha. These radishes are very mild when they're small, but the bigger they get the more of that signature radish bite they develop. I like the bite so I let them get nice and long before I pick them :)

  3. Pickled radishes! I've added radishes to my pickled red onions, but I never did think about pickling them alone. Adding the garlic is perfect.

    I made pesto from the radish greens recently - I'll link to that post here if you'd like to try it next time you have a batch.

  4. If you hot packed them you should tighten the jar ring just till its snug, this allows the air in the jar to escape creating a vacuum. This way they can keep forever, instead of just one month, that way you can enjoy your January grown radishes in August.