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!”
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:
- 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).
- Allow the glass to cool and add radishes, garlic, shallots and peppercorns.
- Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt together until the dry ingredients are dissolved.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the radishes.
- Place the glass in the fridge and wait a few days.
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.