Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pickled Radishes


(iphone photo)

If you've been to any farmer's market lately, (and I do hope you will try to visit them), you will notice tons of spring radishes. Either in a salad, on a crudite platter or just by themselves, the radish is a much overlooked, and dare I say, neglected, vegetable. Many people either love them or hate them, and most usually have them the same way. I'd like you to look at this sad, D-list vegetable, with a new perspective and move it to the front of your spring recipe repertoire. Here are two ideas to get you started.

This week, we reintroduced last year's popular, sauteed radish recipe to the same comments we heard before...

"Sauteed Radishes?" Yes!

"Who ever heard of sauteing a radish?" Well, besides me, about 49,000 others (according to a google search!)

"Wow, this is really good/great/delicious!!" I know, that's why we did it....

A few uses for sauteed Radishes:
**Add sliced Sauteed radishes to fresh grilled Asparagus, for a colorful spring side dish.
**Try mixing chilled sauteed radishes with unsalted butter, sea salt on toasted baguette slices, for an updated twist, on a French classic.
**We also saute radishes, drizzle them with olive oil, and reduced balsamic vinegar and heap them on toasted Crostini for a lovely and different starter. ( I also throw in a few sauteed radish greens for color and added flavor. Please, make sure you clean the greens completely as they are usually very, very sandy).

The second way we showcased these zippy little red globes of goodness, quick pickling them.

If you're a fan of asian food and specifically, Korean food, you may have had the opportunity to try a pickled radish. They are wonderful and go very well with rich grilled meats and summer picnic foods. It's a lovely and unexpected departure from the classic cucumber pickle, and to use what's fresh and in season.

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks, ad hoc at home by Thomas Keller In his original recipe (it's perfect, by the way). Chef Keller uses a 2:1 ratio for vinegar to water/sugar mixture for his pickling solution. I have changed it a bit to reflect my tastes and added salt and a bay leaf.

Pickling Solution**
1 cup vinegar (champagne, red wine, rice wine, etc.,)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt (optional)
1 fresh bay leaf (optional)
6 black peppercorns (optional)

The mixture is heated to a boil, until the sugar dissolves, then it is removed from the heat and allowed to cool.
**Please note: this recipe is for a quick, refrigerator pickle and may not be suitable for canning and storing.

Pickled Radishes

2-3 bunches of radishes, cleaned, trimmed sliced
1 recipe of pickling solution, cooled
2 pint sized canning jars or storage container with lid

Divide radishes into jars and cover with cooled pickling solution. Seal jars tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to use. They are best if you let them rest for at least 8 hours before eating. Pickles will keep for a month. Enjoy!

See you at the market!
Chef Deb


Anne said...

I haven't had enough of the sauteed radishes (who woulda guessed that they were that tasty?!?) The radish seem pretty sweet this year. Thx for making a veggie that was just a garden filler become a family favorite!
Can't wait to see what you post next!

Chef Deb T said...

Thanks Anne, It's one of my favorites as well!

Even though it was a repeat this year, we had enough newbies at the market that is was still fun to hear peoples reactions!

I made sauteed radishes for a class/dinner recently, and everyone took so many little "tastes" we did not have much left to serve.

I am looking forward to being a bit more prolific this least that's the plan.

thank you,
Chef Deb