It does not get much more seasonal that fresh radishes. We’ve been enjoying a bumper crop of them this spring.
A few springs ago, I shared this Sauteed Radishes with Sea Salt & Lime recipe, that we still enjoy at least a few times each spring. Cooking radishes does something really special, that we never dreamed of till we tried it, so I hope you will check that recipe out too.
And I am always happy to eat freshly pulled radishes with just a bit of coarse salt, or sliced very thin and layered atop a buttered slice of fresh bread. No salad misses getting a good portion of radishes.
Last night though, I was planning to make shrimp fajitas [yes, that recipe is coming too!], and while some simply sliced radishes would have been good on them, for a bit of crunch and heat, I decided to reach back to last fall when I first tried making a quick pickle with them.
Quick vegetable pickles are kind of an Asian thing, and you often find them them in Korean and Japanese dishes. Unlike our idea of making canned pickles, or even refrigerator pickles, like my Dills or Bread & Butters, these pickles are ready to eat in a matter of hours. The veggies pick up a nice sweet, sour, spicy [if you like them spicy] combo of flavors and retain nearly as much crunch as they had when they were pulled from the garden.
I decided to layer in some sweet Vidalia onion, for even more crunch and flavor. You can use this same brine to quick pickle just about anything, from carrots, beets and jicama, to cucumbers and summer squash.
We agreed that using them in our fajitas was a fabulous idea, but imagine them also on burgers, scrambled eggs, toasted cheese sandwiches, next to fresh grilled fish – the only limit here will be your imagination.
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water [best not to use city water]
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup [or half as much honey]
- 2 & ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pickling spice
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seed
- ½ teaspoon whole coriander seed
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper flake [optional - leave out if you don't want them spicy]
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ medium sweet onion, peeled
- Radishes - probably a couple of good sized bunches, but it depends on how big they are. Wash well, and remove leaves and root ends.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and water to a simmer.
- Add the maple syrup, salt, pickling spice, cumin, coriander and pepper flake.
- Meanwhile, using a very sharp knife, or a mandolin slicer, cut the garlic, onion and radishes in very thin slices.
- Make alternating layers of the garlic, onion and radish, in a glass jar - I used a 24 ounce canning jar, but any kind will work.
- Once the vinegar mixture is up to a boil, remove from the heat, and carefully, slowly pour it over the veg in the jar.
- You may have a bit more brine than you need, but be sure to spoon in most all of the spices. You can gently run a knife between the veggies and the side of the jar, to allow the spices to distribute better.
- Cover with a lid, and allow it to site at room temperature for a few hours, then refrigerate.
- These will keep for about 2 weeks, but are definitely best if used up in 1.
These add so much crunch and flavor to everything – very important when you are trying to make less calorific meals more appealing!
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