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Simple Fermented Table Radish Pickles

It's radish season, but what can you do with all those root veggies? This fermented radish pickles recipe makes a tasty treat that will keep for many months.

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by Stephanie ThurowJune 4, 2021
PHOTO: Sunvic/Shutterstock

Radishes are abundant this time of year! Besides roasting them, sautéing them or eating them raw, be sure to try fermenting a jar. If you aren’t a fan of the sharpness of a raw radish, a fermented radish may be just what you are looking for.

Fermentation dials back the sharpness, resulting in a delish pickle that tastes great on sandwiches, mixed into salads or eaten as a simple side to a meal. This recipe will take just a few minutes to put together and will preserve your radishes for months to come (if you can resist not gobbling them up within a few days).

If you like radishes, be sure to check out the delicious radish salsa recipe I shared a couple months ago. 

Yield: 1 pint jar

Ingredients

Main
  • 2 cups radishes, sliced into coins about 1/8-1/4 inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Optional: Add some fresh herbs, such as dill or rosemary, for different flavor outcomes 
Brine
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt dissolved in 1 cup of water


Preparation

Wash and prepare the radishes by trimming off the ends before slicing. Add garlic to the bottom of a clean pint-sized canning jar (and additional herbs if you are adding any), then fill with the sliced radishes.

Pack them in tightly without crushing or breaking the slices. Leave 1.5-2 inches of headspace (room from the top of the radishes to the rim of the jar). 

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Mix together the brine and pour it over the radishes until they are completely submerged by at least 1/4 inch of brine. Reserve at least 1 inch of headspace in the jar.

If you have a small fermentation jar weight, add it to the jar to hold down the produce under the brine.

Remove any small pieces of food that float up to the top of the brine. Produce above the brine will increase the risk of the ferment spoiling.

Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean dampened towel. Add the canning jar lid, and tightly screw on the ring.

Fermentation

This fermented radish pickles recipe is a five to seven-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60-75 degrees F (15-23 degrees C) and keep out of direct sunlight. 

Check on the ferment daily to make sure the brine covers all the produce. If the produce has floated above the brine level, use a clean utensil to push it back below the brine. 

Burp the jar daily—unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release (and avoid possible jar breakage or the ferment from overflowing).

Once fermentation is complete, transfer the jar into the refrigerator, with the brine and all.

Fermentation does not stop once the ferment is transferred to the refrigerator. However, it does slow the process way down. The taste and texture will continue to change, therefore this ferment is best enjoyed within six months.

Side Notes

If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine.

Unsure if your water is safe for fermentation? You can boil and allow it to cool to room temperature before stirring in the salt to make your brine.

You may substitute fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. The measurement will remain the same for this recipe.

Through fermentation, the brine will become cloudy and pink (depending on the color of radishes you are fermenting with). This is a normal part of the process for fermented radish pickles.

This recipe has been adapted from WECK Small-Batch Preserving with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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