pickled radishes

We are a few months into the growing season here in eastern Germany.  This means that I am starting to harvest some things.  This past weekend, it was lots of spinach and baby radishes.  As I was pulling the not quite developed radishes from the ground (they needed to be thinned out), I was not doing a happy dance as I had imagined so many times in my head.  After all, I was harvesting my own sustainable, pesticide-free, local food!  Instead, I was grumbling and silently berating myself: “what were you thinking? why the heck did you plant so many freakin’ radishes? what are you going to do with allllll of these!”

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I still have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to plant 100 or more radish plants.  It could have been because it was so exciting to see something grow so quickly.  Or maybe because they might repel pests.  Or even that they don’t absorb so many nutrients out of the soil which makes them good partners for a variety of other plants.  I just don’t know.  Regardless, I now have an (over) abundance of radish plants that need to be thinned and much to my surprise, I am not actually crazy about radishes, nor do I have any idea what I am supposed to do with them.  Not only that, but the ones I picked the week before were so spicy I could barely eat them.

This led me to an internet search:  what to do with radishes.  There were results for making radish roses (really? wtf am I supposed to do with radish roses?) and just eating them (what I have been trying to do).  Finally, I came across a reasonable suggestion.  PICKLE THEM!!  Perfect.  Not only will this use up a lot of radishes, but I have all the ingredients on-hand.  This is why I love the internet.

Here is what I ended up using:

1 scant cup white vinegar 1 cup thinly sliced radishes 1 tsp salt 3 cloves garlic, sliced 1 medium shallot, sliced 1 tsp black peppercorns 2 tsp sugar

Boiled water 1 glass jar with a lid

And how I did it:

  1. Fill the desired jar with boiling water and allow to sit for about 60 seconds to clean the glass well.  Pour out water (very carefully, it’s hot…I burned my hand).
  2. Allow the glass to cool and add radishes, garlic, shallots and peppercorns.
  3. Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt together until the dry ingredients are dissolved.
  4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the radishes.
  5. Place the glass in the fridge and wait a few days.

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Now, I do not claim to be an expert.  I have never pickled my own radishes before.  Actually, this is my first time growing radishes, so this is a learning experience.  However, I do know that I like things pickled and the whole process took a measly 10 minutes, so I have high hopes.  In a few days, I will know how everything turns out.  Hopefully well, because I have a lot of radishes and pickling makes them last longer.  Always an added bonus.

And, if you are wondering what’s next on the radish parade?  Oven roasted radishes and radish slaw.  Stay tuned for these and many more exciting food and garden adventures!!!  And, as always, if you have any suggestions, please share with the class.

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12 thoughts on “pickled radishes

  1. This is great! I too have the radish complex. I plant them and don’t know why. I don’t really like radishes, yet I still plant them. Best I can figure is that they grow so darn fast and easy, I figure I just have to plant them. So I do. Sounds like you’ve discovered some good uses for them. Radish slaw you say? I’m in!

    Excellent post!

  2. Oh my. First of all, congrats on the bumper crop. Secondly, I also do not like radishes but thankfully found this our in second grade when our class had a growing project and the teacher chose radiahes, likely for the same reason you planted so many. Fast growing and hardy. I was so excited the day we dug them up, rinsed them off and I took a healthy bite out of the beautiful red ball. I thought it was the worst thing ever. That being said, I do love horseradish sauce and always have it on hand to make cocktail sauce. Maybe I would like the pickles. I hope you post your results after they have aged. Good luck!

    1. Haha. That is a good story. I can totally imagine how the childhood excitement of eating a self-grown, garden fresh radish could be crushed by the taste. My experience was quite similar.

      And, I will definitely post my pickling findings. As of today, the radishes are a really pretty pink. I hope they end up tasting as good as they look. Have a super day!

  3. You might try thinly sliced radishes on crusty bread with sliced tomatoes, mayonnaise, and salt. These are popular in the U.S. South. I don’t know if you planted tomatoes or if they will overlap with the radishes though. We’ve already picked five tomatoes, but the weather here is clearly different.

    1. That sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, I will have to wait at least 2 months to enjoy fresh tomatoes from the garden. But, I love tomato sandwiches and will probably have radishes somewhere in the garden in the future, so I will definitely give this a try. Thank you for the suggestion and have a wonderful day!

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