Radishes make great pickles, and you can use any radish in this recipe. Green watermelon radishes, with their stunning rainbow interiors, make a most attractive pickled condiment. You can also substitute a number of different vinegars here, but the sweet complexity of Champagne vinegar is a refreshing contrast to the strong mustard oil found in radishes.
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Pinch coarse sea salt*
1 cup watermelon radishes, sliced into “watermelon slices” or another shape you like
Bring the first four ingredients to a boil, remove from heat, allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Pour the cold pickling liquid over the radishes, cover and store in the fridge for up to a month. You may enjoy them on the second day, or you may like them better after a few days. Do several taste tests.
*Do not substitute refined salt. The calcium and magnesium impurities in pure sea salt help reinforce cell wall pectins, yielding a crisper pickle. If you don’t believe me, ask Harold McGee, the friendly and trusted food scientist who writes The Curious Cook, a wonderful New York Times column you really must read.