Most people think that radishes are a spring vegetable. And it's true, they are one of the first fresh things when the weather is beginning to warm. However, smart farmers and home gardeners know that with the right varieties, they can have a second season in the fall.
I was reminded of winter radishes last week when my CSA included a bundle of china rose radishes in my share. They are brilliantly red on the outside with a creamy white interior. They are delicious just as they come, but with a full refrigerator and travel plans looming, I needed to take action to extend their lifespan.
You'll often hear people talk about quick or refrigerator pickles. They are typically smaller batches, designed to keep in the fridge and eat within a week or two. This pickling method is particularly useful when you've got a produce glut or you long for a truly crisp pickle. It's also nice because you can experiment with different flavor enhancers without committing to a large batch.
This recipe is something of a blank slate. While a basic pickled radish is delicious, they are also quite good with the addition of garlic, herbs or an infused vinegar. Use your imagination and explore different flavor pairings.
After an overnight soak in this brine, I like to heap these pickles into homemade tacos or chop them even finer and stir them into tuna salad. Sometimes I make them with rosemary or with a number of peeled garlic cloves for a lovely, stinky pickle. Anyway you choose to make them, you're certain to enjoy them!
About the author: Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated pickler who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars.