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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pickled Radishes - A Delicious Addition to the Table

This spring during planting I ran out of carrot seeds, so I sent Robert to the garden center to buy more seeds while I finished planting the beans.  I am partial to organic, so he went with specific instructions on what to buy. When he came back home he handed me a package of radish seeds with a big smile on his face and asked me to find a spot for them in the garden. I was a little surprised, because after almost 10 years of marriage, I had never seen the man eat a radish. I did carve out a row for his radishes, and after they were planted I mentioned the fact that I had not a clue that he liked radishes. He then admitted to me that he really didn't care too much for them, but wanted to grow them because they have a 29 day growth period, and he gets so impatient with waiting to harvest that he thought it would be fun to grow them just to harvest them. He then threw me his biggest smile and I set out to find something to do with his radishes.

Radishes sandwiched between the beets and the garlic

I decided to try pickling them because of a comment from a friend, Becky, who was also contemplating what to do with all the radishes in the garden at Firestone Farm.  She first mentioned pickling them, and I became determined to try it as well.  I tried to find a recipe in one of my historic cookbooks, but no real luck.  So I decided to do a table pickle, the type we used to do at the farm with fresh veggies right out of the garden.  This is a super easy recipe, and we have used it for cucumbers mostly, but it works great for radishes too!

Start with about 4 - 5 radishes, not too large, and wash them with a veggie brush, and then slice them thin.  Place them in a bowl and pour half water and half white vinegar over them until they are covered.  If you like less vinegar, just make it 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar. Add a pinch or two of salt and a couple pinches of pepper.  This can set out for a few hours, either on the counter or in the fridge, and then taste and adjust the vinegar, water, salt and pepper to your liking. This dish can last quite a while in the fridge, but we have only had them last a day before they are gone!

A Quick Radish Pickle

The pickled radishes turned out so delicious! The flavor is quite changed in just a few hours, and they add an awesome flavor to grilled burgers, fresh salads, and are exceptionally pretty as a garnish. I was also pleased when our neighbors tasted them and then accepted when I offered the whole bowl to them. (The bowl was returned empty the very next day!)  My brother-in-law just kept eating them and polished off half the bowl before the burgers were even on the grill. I am really glad that the radish is such an easy veggie to grow, because I am going to have to plant more, as our one row has been depleted only 4 days after my first dish of quick table pickles.

Now if I can get a whole couple of rows, I will have to see how they do as jar pickles...wish me luck!  

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