This morning there was a definite nippy (read freezing) bite in the air, the seasons are definitely changing and we’re all looking for ways to use up or preserve our amazing harvests from our kitchen gardens. So for quite a few of us, our minds will turn to pickles and chutneys.
Kate & I learned to pickle simply to use up the huge gluts of veggies our garden gives us and it opened up a huge new world. We’ve made chutney from our beetroot, which is a huge hit and homemade gherkins and of course, no gardeners pantry would be complete without tomato relish.
Today we’re sharing one of our slightly more unusual pickles… radishes.
Kate is a massive fan of this one, well, to be honest, she’s a huge fan of radishes and that’s why we ended up with this as one of our staples. Radishes are great to give a bit of bite to your salads and sandwiches and offer that slightly spicey note to anything you add them to. And as a bonus, they grow sooooo fast. Ours have been seed to plate in around 4 weeks. Pssst, radishes were one of the first things I got Kate to plant to get her hooked on gardening.
So for this radish pickle, you will need.
- a bunch of radishes (washed)
- 180 ml white wine vinegar
- 3 tbs of honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (we have a batch from last years chillies – see how to dry your own)
- you will also need about 180ml of water
So lets go….
Ok so chop the tops and bottoms off your radishes and then slice them really thin (the thinner you slice them, the quicker the pickling juice will take effect although thicker slices make for crunchier pickle). A mandolin is great for this but Kate has superhero knife skills so she does this with a kitchen knife.
Once you have all your radishes sliced, fill some sterilised jars with alternate layers of radishes and your dried spices (peppercorns, mustard seeds and dried chilli flakes) until just below the top.
Now for the smelly bit
Next, we make our pickling liquor (or brine).
Get a small pot on the stove and add the vinegar, honey, water, salt and crushed garlic and bring this to the boil while stirring. WARNING: it will stink!!!!!!
Once the mixture is boiling for a couple of minutes, pour it into the jars so that it just covers the radishes and spices. Pop the lid on and leave to cool.
It will keep, sealed for months and months and months 🙂 But once you open it, keep it in the fridge and treat it like any other pickle. You can eat this once it’s cooled, but it’s better after a week or so.
How to sterilise your jars
If you’ve never done this kind of thing before, the idea of having to sterilise your jars can be a bit scary, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s just about heating them to a point where no bacteria can survive.
If you are using jars with rubber seals, be sure to remove these before placing in the oven.
When adding your pickle to the jars after sterilising, make sure your jars are still hot and your pickle has been boiling a few minutes. You need the pickle and jars to be around the same temperature so that the jars don’t crack.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C
- Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse well but don’t dry them
- Place the jars onto a baking tray and into the oven for 10 minutes
- Soak the lids and rubber seals if you have them in boiling water for a few minutes
Be careful when handling the jars, lids and pickle. It’s REALLY hot.