The red-colored stuff in the jar in the fridge smells like some kind of flesh-eating foot fungus—and I can’t get enough of it. No— pickled radishes do not fill the house with heavenly aromas, but they taste wonderful. In fact, I’m trying to figure out how to take them in my carry-on luggage for my next cross-country flight. (Don’t sit next to me. And don’t put me in an “exit seat.” I will save the radishes first.)
The thing is—I already love radishes. No one had to do anything to make me love them any more, but the minute the fermented and pickled craze hit—with briny sweet and spicy radishes on tacos and sandwiches—I could no longer just toss them “naked” into a salad. I’m spoiled. Really spoiled. If anyone says to me, “I’m serving pickled radishes at my wedding,” I will crash that wedding and start a Conga line to the buffet table. So, if you’re wondering, “What would it take to get the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team to start a Conga line?” Well, for this part of the Team, it doesn’t take much. Not much at all.
Except—I know that pickling and canning takes a while, so I’ve never attempted to actually pickle or can anything. I just don’t have the patience sometimes. Here’s an example: After spending more than a minute trying to open a bottle of incredibly stubborn vegetable juice, I cried out, “Why? Why does everything have to be so hard?” That was the day I decided I should not take on a pickling or canning project, until I saw this recipe for “Spicy Quick Pickled Radishes” by Cookie and Kate. I’m happy to say that I followed most of the recipe. I’m listing the steps I followed here—in case you 1) can’t live without pickled radishes, and 2) need to start a Conga line “now” and can’t wait.
–one bunch of radishes, washed and cut into thin slices. (Remove the tops and bottoms first—otherwise, the radishes look kind of “evil” with long spiky things sticking out of them. I know that sounds scary, but remember: you have the knife; they don’t. What are they going to do about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.)
–3/4 of a cup of water
–3/4 of a cup of apple cider vinegar
–3 tablespoons of honey
–1 tsp of salt
–1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional—the original recipe calls for about 1 tsp—I thought that would have been too spicy.)
In a small saucepan, heat the water, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt until boiling. Then, remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. (Conga while you wait maybe? Though, it’s not that long of a wait, really.)
Place the radish slices into a jar and top them with the red pepper flakes.
Pour the water/cider/honey/salt mixture over the radishes. You can eat them right away–(now!) Or, if you have some patience left over, cover the jar and let the radishes get nice and cold in the refrigerator.
Then, Conga, Conga, Conga to the fridge, my friends. Conga hard.
Your Turn: What is your favorite vegetable and/or condiment?