I was inspired to create this recipe after having divine pickled radishes on a salad at The Garden Gate near Hampstead Heath, London.
The piquancy, crunch, and vibrant colour are delightful with belly pork, mackerel, or other fatty meats, either in a salad or just on the side.
Makes: One 500ml jar
- 200g radishes – washed and trimmed, but no need to peel
- 220ml vinegar (see footnote)
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 tsp peppercorns (ideally pink, or a combo of rainbow colours; all-black would be fine, though)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, lightly crushed (back of the knife, or in a mortar and pestle)
- Small handful of fresh coriander leaf
- One 500ml Kilner jar (or other sealing jam jar)
- Preheat oven to 140 C (120 C fan-assisted). Wash the jam jar with its lid and ring in hot soapy water, rinse well, and place in the oven upside down. Leave in for at least 30 minutes to sterilise.
- Cut the radishes into bite-sized pieces. This may mean simply quartering them. Small radishes can be halved, and extra-large radishes might need cutting into six or more wedges.
- Put the radish pieces into the sterilised jam jar, and cover with vinegar. Add the rest of the ingredients, and give the jar a good shake or stir to mix everything up and ensure the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- With a brand-new lid/ring, a jar will keep in the cupboard for up to 6 months. A jar with a previously-used lid/ring should be put straight into the fridge. Either way, leave at least 12 hours for the flavours to meld; once opened, they will keep in the fridge for weeks and weeks, still retaining their lovely crunch.
I keep lots of (probably too many) types of vinegar in the cupboard. Cider or white wine vinegar, alone or mixed, would do just fine with this recipe. But I’ve also added rice wine and sherry vinegars. I wouldn’t use balsamic, malt, or red wine vinegar to make this, though.
My local farmer’s market recently had a stall with the loveliest purple and multi-coloured radishes. Sadly, after pickling, they all turned the same uniform fuchsia colour as if I’d used ordinary pink ones. So take a tip from me, don’t seek out unusually coloured radishes for this dish.