Radishes are the little jewels of my spring garden. Because they pop up soon after sowing and are quick to mature, they are among the first vegetables to grace the garden. And these little jewels with their showy green foliage provide not only a pop of color and a welcome sight after a long winter but also fresh, peppery bite to my taste buds that need awakening after months of eating hearty winter fare.
I feel like radishes are a little bit of an overlooked vegetable. While they have a reputation as mainly being crunchy and slightly spicy salad fixing, they’re also nutritious — small but mighty being loaded with fiber and vitamin C. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the only way to eat a radish is as a garnish for a green salad because they’re actually quite versatile. They are delicious roasted, sauteed, grated into vegetable slaws, or on top of a baguette slathered with butter.
One of my personal favorite ways to eat radishes, though, is on top of fish tacos. For me, a few slices of crispy radish is just what a good, homemade fish taco needs. This time, I decided to change it up a little bit, and actually pickle some radishes to top my tacos. I used organic apple cider vinegar and lime juice for the acid, and then added a hint of garlic and fresh ginger. (I also included sliced carrot and red onion in my pickles, but you can do only radishes if that’s your preference.) And these pickled radishes are only for tacos – they’re also an excellent topping for veggie and grain bowls, Banh Mi sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to anything barbecued.
• 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
• Juice from 1 lime
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons cane sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon canning salt
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 pound of sliced radishes, carrots and red onions (you can omit the carrots and/or onions)
1. Add the vinegar, lime juice, water, sugar, salt, ginger and garlic to a stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Place sliced vegetables into a hot, sanitized jar. Carefully pour the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top of the jar.
3. Cover jar with a clean towel and allow to cool to room temperature. Place lid on cooled jar and store in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind, these are small-batch pickles not intended for canning, so stash them in the refrigerator after they have cooled. I find these radish pickles need to sit in the fridge for a few days before they reach their fully-pickled flavor, and are best eaten within 2-3 weeks.