Pickles are the universal food gift, seriously. The homemade kind take only minutes to make and add such punch to every sort of meal, from breakfast to break-time snacks. Angela shows us the easiest sort: pickled radishes with whole black peppercorns. In ten minutes or less, you’ll have the kind of #foodgiftlove that makes dinner shine and neighbors smile. Thank you, Angela. This is my favorite quick pickle! -Maggie
Growing up, my mother never bought into the school of thought that instructs parents to puree vegetables and “hide” them in other gooier, more kid-approved foods. Rather, she was a sort of vegetable purist.
For after-school snacks, she prepared plates of fresh raw veggies, confident that their diverse textures, striking colors and subtle flavors would be enough to get me hooked. And she was right.
Fresh vegetables were vibrant and crunchy and satisfying, and so I didn’t relate to my elementary-aged classmates who nearly sobbed when they pulled plastic baggies filled with carrot or celery sticks from their lunchboxes, desperate for store-bought sweets.
And yet, until my twenties, my only fondness for fresh radishes was in relationship with old episodes of Fraggle Rock. In truth, although I found the brightly-colored globes visually appealing, I found their peppery bite too much for my young taste buds.
However, since then, I’ve learned to love radishes: from thick white daikons to unassuming watermelon radishes, their secret neon interiors hidden beneath their deceptive peridot skin, to slender earth-colored radishes no larger than my pinky. I love slow roasted radishes; I love raw radish slivers sprinkled across buttered hunks of baguette; I even love to sauté their often overlooked greens which, when served with pasta and some good olive oil, are the pathway to a fast, elegant weeknight meal.
But perhaps my favorite recipe of the bunch is a batch of quick pickled radishes. Pickled radishes maintain a beautiful rosy hue and a nice, satisfying crunch. However, a fast bath in a basic brine mellows out their bite and infuses these versatile, jewel-toned spheres with a touch of sweetness. And the best part: all you need to make them is water, vinegar, a handful of spices and about ten minutes time.
- 1 large bunch of radishes
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- Thoroughly rinse the radishes and their leaves. Remove the leaves and store them for later use. Trim the ends from the radishes and set aside.
- Add all remaining ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, tightly pack the trimmed radishes into a glass jar and set aside (depending on the size of the radishes, you may need to use two glass jars).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the brine to cool slightly, about one to two minutes. Pour the brine into the glass jar, being sure to cover the radishes completely.
- Allow the brine to cool to room temperature. Seal the jar with a tight fitting lid. When kept covered and chilled, the pickled radishes will keep well for 1-2 weeks.
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