Colors make me happy. Preserving food does, too. Now put the two together, and you have an immensely happy Caroline.
That’s exactly what happened yesterday. Admiring the radishes my favorite farmer friends had gifted me with – taking in all the shades of purple, pink and white, plus the fascinating black, as well as the various shapes and external textures – I realized that soon it would be way too hot down here for them to grow, and I would be left without the crunchy little rounds. Unless I pickled them. So I did.
I decided to pair the slight sharpness of the radishes with a simple, slightly sweet brine I usually use for bread & butter pickles. It combines water and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 1 to 1. For my rosy radishes, I replaced 1/4 of the apple cider vinegar with red wine one. And, oh, it made them blush in the most charming way!
For condiments I used what I happened to find in my spice cabinet: Coriander and mustard seeds, and the dried dill flowers that had been growing on the same farm as my radishes. Happy bunches!
I am planing on using my latest pickle version on sandwiches and in salads, and as a little side dish with rice, couscous, quinoa, grilled meats and vegetables. And, every now and then, simply picked out of the jar and straight into my mouth. No blushing needed here.
(makes 4 8oz jars)
- 2 lb radishes, if possible different varieties of different colors
- 16 oz water
- 12 oz apple cider vinegar
- 4 oz red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp mustard seeds
- 4 – 8 twigs dried dill flowers (or 2 tbsp dried dill)
- 4 clean 8 oz canning jars
Remove greens and what the radishes throughly.
On a mandoline, cut radishes into about 1/8 inch thick slices.
Pack radishes into the jars evenly and tightly, adding one or two twigs of dill flowers per jar. (If you have replaced the dill flowers with dried dill, add it to the water-vinegar-spice mix described in the next step.) Set aside.
In a sauce pan, combine water, both vinegars, honey, coriander and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Pour liquid into the jars, making sure radishes are completely covered. Close the jars and let cool.
Keep the pickles in a dark place at least 3 days. Then enjoy the crunch and the blush!
Once open, keep the pickles refrigerated.