Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pickled Daikon and Watermelon Radishes

I read a fair amount of food writing (slight understatement), and I know I saw something about pickling this or that in Food and Wine at some point. And, there was an article about preserving vegetables in olive oil in La Cucina Italiana which isn’t pickling but had me thinking preservation at any rate. I also have several different cut out pages filed away about quick pickling and the like. All of that got mushed together in my head and when I picked up our CSA vegetables last week, the idea of pickling was on my mind. Well, the kind fellow from Hands of the Earth helped me bag up my portion and made a joke about everyone getting tired of the daikon radishes. I said something about I didn’t mind them, and then he said “you should pickle them.” Yes. I’d been thinking about pickling, and that cemented it.

I referred to a few different sources, which were all about the same, and in the end did this:

2 medium daikon radishes, cleaned and chopped into 1" chunks
6 watermelon radishes, cleaned and cut to similar size as daikon chunks
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh dill
2 c white wine vinegar
2 1/4 c water
3 T kosher salt
1 t black peppercorns

1 T pickling spice (a combination of allspice, coriander, rosemary, dill, chili pepper, cloves, bay leaves, celery seeds)

- combine vinegar, water, salt, and pickling spice in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil
- place daikon, watermelon radishes, onion, and dill in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl; pour boiling vinegar and water mixture over vegetables; let cool and transfer to an airtight container; store in the refrigerator up to three weeks

The radishes are crisp, vinegary, salty, and addictive. They’ll be great offered up with some olives and cornichons or on the side with a salad. Coming to think of it, I have a thing for veggie burgers and eating little briny bites like olives and pickles with them. Pickled radishes and veggie burgers may become a new favorite pairing.

Note: After a few days in the refrigerator, everything in the jar has turned pink due to the watermelon radishes. The initial, multi-colored look was nice, but pink is pretty too, and it tastes just as good.


  1. My grandma used to pickle everything all the time but I have never tried yet. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Sounds great! In Japan there tons of different types of pickled daikon. Some are just pickled in salt, others are pickled in miso, or dried first and then pickled.

  3. Marc-- Thanks! That's great to know. I wasn't familiar with Japanese pickled daikon.

  4. Throw some hard boiled eggs in that jar with those yummy pickling spices! I love pickled eggs!

  5. Just looking at this - I bet this was delicious.

  6. Oh to have fresh radishes! At our Midwestern farmer's market, the only vegetables available right now were pickled months ago. One of our local producers sells this wonderful collection of pickled yellow and purple cauliflower, and the spices-to-vinegar ratio is just perfect. They're crisp and a dilly and a tad spicy -- wonderful!

  7. Stacey-- pickled eggs sound great. I've never had them, but I'd love to them.

    Darius-- Thanks! They are tasty, but I do enjoy pickled things.

    Becky-- I can sympathize. I grew up in the midwest. Pickled cauliflower sounds great.

  8. as much as i love dilled beans and carrots, it's not easy to predict that i'd love dilled radishes too. thanks for the idea!

  9. oh, i have to say this sounds so good. i've pickled beets and i LOVE dilly beans.

  10. Never had pickled radishes but I am trying to imagine, I think they'd taste really good. They look wonderful in pink too.

  11. what a great combination, would never have thought of putting this together.

  12. As you know from my own blog that I'm a can-o-phobe, I adore how you can keep these pickles in the fridge without having to do the water-bath method. I love how yours came out. Indeed, pretty in pink.

  13. I am catching up on your site...I love mom used to make pickled this and that...


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