When we had friends over for dinner recently, there was a request for ‘no onion’. That’s a fairly simple request to accommodate however there was a particular salad I wanted to make which featured red onions. I saw some radishes in the market and decided they would make a good substitute from a colour and crunch perspective.
Waste Not, Want Not
After I made the dinner party salad, I had a small bunch of radishes left over. If the weather had been warmer, I probably would have diced them into a salad. Unfortunately, the weather has been mild of late so we’re not eating a lot of salads. There were only a few radishes left but I didn’t want to compost them. I decided to make some quick pickled radishes that I could use in next week’s lunch boxes.
The elongated radishes in the picture above are known as ‘French Breakfast Radishes’. This is curious because as far as I’m aware, radishes are enjoyed in France but not necessarily for breakfast. Fresh radishes are popular throughout Europe but for some reason, they are not as popular in Australia. It’s probably because people see them as old fashioned. I’m a big fan of pickled radishes. They really make a dish, adding interest with their salty/sweet crunch. We most frequently see them in the form of pickled daikon in Japanese cuisine or salted mustard greens that you can buy in Asian supermarkets. Indeed, radish is part of the mustard family.
Pickled Radishes are perfect with cold meats and a sharp cheddar. They take less than 10 minutes to prepare. So, if you’re dipping you toe into making food as gifts, these are a good place to start.
- 1 bunch of radishes (approx 10 – 12)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar (or 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup cider vinegar)
- 2 tspns salt
- 2 tspns caster sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half and/or 1 chilli (optional)
- Cut the green tops from the radish (set aside and add as a peppery addition to a green salad).
- Wash, top and tail the radishes. Slice thinly – approx 1.5mm thick
- Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Pack the radish slices into a clean, sterilised preserving jar. Add the garlic and chilli if you are using and top with the hot pickling liquid.
- Place the lid on the jar and allow it to cool. When the jar is at room temperature, put in the fridge.
- The radish pickles are ready in 24 hours but you can keep them for up to 4 weeks. The radishes will turn a delightful pink hue, as a result of the pickling liquid.
Serves: Makes approximately 2 x 350ml jars