Growing up we always had pickles from my maternal grandmother’s house. It was a thing she always did. I especially loved her turnips that she pickled with brine that had coloring from beets. This is something that she passed down to my mom, and aunts and uncles. My youngest uncle seems to have picked up the pickling gene from her. I’ve always wanted to pick up this “talent”, and since we are quarantined, I thought it would be the perfect time to do it. I researched some recipes on Pinterest and found that Cookie + Kate’s recipe was the most accessible. The beauty of pickling, it makes food last. A perfect thing for these times. I also found the whole process quite relaxing. Find the recipe below.
1 bunch radishes*
¾ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup**
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this yields very spicy pickles, so use ½ teaspoon for medium spicy pickles or none at all)
½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds (optional)
Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
To prepare the radishes: Slice off the tops and bottoms of the radishes, then use a sharp chef’s knife or mandolin to slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Pack the rounds into a pint-sized canning jar. Top the rounds with red pepper flakes and mustard seeds.
To prepare the brine: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey, or maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the radishes.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature. You can serve the pickles immediately or cover and refrigerate for later consumption. The pickles will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks, although they are in their most fresh and crisp state for about 5 days after pickling.
*You can use cucumbers, carrots, onions, and or cabbage as an alternative.
**If you are vegan, you can use maple syrup instead of honey as an option.
(Images courtesy of Hussah AlTamimi, and recipe courtesy of Cookie + Kate)