How to Pickle Radishes (With Recipe Variations)

| 6/17/2015 3:18:00 PM

Pickled Radish Ingredients

Radishes are among the very first non-leafy greens available in the spring. I love radishes prepared any way: cooked in stir fry, eaten raw, or pickled. I look forward to pickled spring radishes all year.

While winter and summer are predictable in Vermont, spring is always a surprise. This year, spring came on the tails of a very cold, snowy and long winter. It warmed up quickly and was very dry. I decided to plant seeds just as the snow finally melted away on April 17. It was a calculated risk; our actual last frost date in Vermont is not until June. After a few close calls with overnight frost warnings, the radishes were ready to pick by late May.

I love to grow radishes, especially a variety called ‘French Breakfast’ radishes. They are oblong, red to pink with a white tip. The best part is that they are 28 days from seed to picking.

Some people do not like radishes because they have kind of a mushroom flavor—generally, the older the radish, the more mushroomy the flavor. Some people also find radishes too spicy. This is another good reason to pickle, because the flavor of the radish becomes mellowed and complemented by the vinegar, salt, and spices.

While radish pickles can be canned, I find them more delicious as refrigerator pickles. They can last up to 2 months (but trust me, you’ll eat them long before that time). I create all kinds of variations: Asian-style for use in ramen, sweet, spicy, citrus, and more.

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