A cooking and baking journal

CHOW's Bread and Butter Radishes

If you ever had to cook for a large amount of people, work for a restaurant, or work at a grocery store or farm market, you're probably well acquainted with leftovers. Produce or product that just wasn't consumed or bought.

So last Saturday at the family farm market, we had bags of radishes leftover. And since we're closed Sundays, these radishes would not find another home.

My family doesn't normally eat radishes in quantity and so I wasn't sure what to do with all this surplus product over the weekend. They looked so cheery and fresh and, well, just had to be used someway, somehow!

Then it happened. How about pickling them? Hmm. I love pickled vegetables: beets, relish, corn, etc. Not too sure how I arrived at this idea; must be something to do with my fixation of Chopped or something. They pickle everything on there, even kohlrabi.

Found a tantalizing recipe soon enough on Chow.com. Don't go there often. . . But after great success with a pancake question on their forums, will be stopping by again.

So here's the recipe:


1 bunch red radishes (about 13 radishes)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 medium dried bay leaf


Rinse radishes and trim off their leafy tops. Holding the stem end, thinly slice radishes with a mandoline or a sharp knife. When you get close to the stem, stop slicing and discard the end. Place radishes in a heatproof, nonreactive bowl, and set in the refrigerator while making the brine.
Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and let pickling brine cool for about 5 minutes. Remove radishes from the refrigerator and pour brine over them. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes; cover and refrigerate. Use to top burgers, sandwiches, or anything else that needs a little tarting up.


Modifications: Made a few modifications out of necessity. Didn't have coriander or black peppercorns on hand but I did have pickling spice which is comprised of these two spices and more. So I added that to the vinegar solution using a two-layer cheesecloth sack tied with butcher's twine. I don't know why but I feel very French when I break out the cheesecloth.

I also didn't have dry bay leaves only a bay leaf tree. Yeah, not your typical house plant! I decided against plucking the fresh leaves because I knew the fresh ones are less potent, and these pickled radishes were going to be devoured in a matter of three hours. Just not enough time to impart their flavor.

How Did We Like It? The family and I thought they were really, really good. The radishes were crisp and the "juice" was sweet, tart, and perfectly spiced. Will do again. We have another patch of radishes coming along which is good to know!

Here is how they turned out:

P.S. Yes, I know very well that my blogging has been few and far between. My mindset these past months have been more of "get the job done" than "let's stop and take a few pictures!" Having to make a homecooked meal almost everyday of the week (sometimes two meals), zaps the whimsy, fun, and creativity out of a person. It becomes more of a day-to-day chore. That is why I was so happy to flip through some new cooking magazines Annemarie lent me yesterday. They gave me some great inspiration and made me motivated to really give these bread and butter radishes a try. This week I'm going to go recipe exploring and try out two new ones. Maybe even try pickled kohlrabi when it comes along. Haven't had cooking excitement in awhile and I like to see it back! 

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