This recipe for pickled radishes is great because they pickle in as little as 4 hours. Pickled radishes can be enjoyed straight from the jar, as an addition to salads, or as a topping for fish tacos. They could also replace traditional pickles on a burger or a Charcuterie plate.
We harvested the first haul from our garden last weekend! Our garden got a bit of a late start this season due to Chicago’s unseasonably cold winter and spring (do you remember when it SNOWED in May? I do, it was terrible), but we still pulled 3 pounds of radishes from one of our raised garden beds.
Radishes are a great vegetable to grow for the first time gardener because they grow quickly and do not require a ton of space. From seed, they are ready to harvest in about 20-30 days. They are also virtually disease-free, which is good for both new and experienced gardeners because there is nothing worse than losing a plant to disease or pests. If you do not have backyard space, it is possible to grow radishes in pots or buckets. The Geek Gardner has a great post on growing radishes in containers.
I like the crunch and peppery bite that radishes add to salads and wanted to make something that would compliment my daily salad but that I could also enjoy on its own. Since I typically dress my salads with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and Italian spices, I decided to pickle my radishes using the same flavor profile.
The beauty of these pickled radishes is that they pickle in as little as 4 hours. I don’t know about you, but I find the hardest part of pickling is waiting for my items to pickle properly. Usually, you have to let things sit for a week before they reach their pickled potential. So, not only are radishes quick growers, but they are also quick picklers!
Because my intention was to eat these radishes on salads or straight from the jar, I sliced them a little on the thicker side, but there are definitely other ways to enjoy pickled radishes. You could swap them out for traditional pickles on a burger or use them to add a crunch and zing to fish tacos. Since fish is flaky and delicate, I’d slice them very thin (most likely by using a mandoline) if I was going to serve them as a condiment.
You’ll notice that the recipe below is for my entire radish crop. The cool thing about pickling is that recipes can easily be halved or doubled based on your crop allotment. You do not need 3 pounds of radishes to successfully make this recipe. If you want to try these in a smaller batch, you can absolutely do that.
Even though these radishes are ready to eat quickly, they do taste best when pickled overnight. I’ve read that pickled radishes can start to lose their crunch after about a week, but I have yet to experience this. I made the ones in my fridge two weeks ago and they still crunch beautifully. Once pickled, these radishes should last up to 3 months if refrigerated properly.
- 3 lbs radishes
- 5 cups red wine vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 8 scant tablespoons Italian spices (see note)
- 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 8 pint jars
- Clean and sterilize your jars by running them through a cycle in your dishwasher.
- Slice radishes and divide them equally among 8 pint jars. Using a garlic press, add 1 clove of pressed garlic to each jar. If you do not have a garlic press, just finely mince each garlic clove with a knife. Add desired amount of Italian spices to each jar (see note).
- Over medium heat, heat the vinegar, water, and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. No need to bring to a full boil, the sugar will dissolve before that point.
- Let your mixture cool to room temperature. Do not skip this step! If you pour hot liquid over your radishes, they will soften and lose their crunch and texture.
- Divide pickling liquid evenly among your jars, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Tightly sealed jars should keep for up to 3 months if refrigerated properly.
- A note about Italian spices - Before adding the liquid, 1 added scant tablespoon of Italian spices to each jar of radishes. I did this because my intention was to use these radishes in salads and to use the pickling liquid as part of the dressing. If you intend to use these radishes as a condiment for something like fish tacos, I would use half a tablespoon of Italian spices per jar.