Thursday, June 25, 2009

Radish Pickles

We have had an abundance of sunshine this past month. Really, it's been unreal. Everyone feels really luck to live up here when the weather is so spectacular (everyone is the opposite with it rains for weeks straight). As a result of 14+ hours of sunshine per day, my garden exploded, bolted, flourished. Especially my teeny radish plot. I got home after a work trip and little red, white, and purple tops were peeking out from the soil. How exciting.
Since this gardening thing is relatively new to me, I want to use everything I pick but I don't really know how. I also really like the idea of putting food up for the winter. Radish greens are delicious and used as any other green. Done. After salads what do you do with the radishes themselves? Also, what if you have several pounds ripe all at once? My idea was pickles. I hope they are a little spicy-sweet topping for fish. Yet another condiment to line my already bursting refrigerator door.

I picked all the ripe radishes (my icicle variety wasn't quite ready yet), washed them, sliced them, and pickled away. As I scientist I am inherently a nerd, and since this is a grand experiment in pickling I chose two slicing methods and two pickling methods and crossed them.

Slicing: I quartered half of the radishes and sliced the other half really thinly. Pickling: I used a Japanese-style Kombu, sugar and rice vinegar and a traditional quick pickle style. At the end of this, I'll at least know what works or what doesn't. And if I even like pickled radishes.
The quartered radishes are packed in their jars. The kombu pickles are on the furthest left and the quick-pickled are the next.
This is the spice mix that is placed in the jar prior to packing in veggies and pouring acidic liquid over the mixture. This one has cumin, coriander, black mustard, garlic, allspice, and salt. I poured a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water over these. The kombu pickles have a mix of rice vinegar, water and sugar over the radishes with a slice of kombu over the top.

They turned our a jewel-like pink. Pretty

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