As you can see from the pictures, these are not your ordinary radishes. Watermelon radishes have a pale green rind and a bright magenta interior (hence the watermelon moniker.) They're a little milder than most radishes and actually have kind of a sweet taste, combined with that classic radish bite. Since watermelon radishes are an heirloom variety of Daikon, I figured that an Asian approach to pickling was in order.
I did not feel like messing with our canning equipment, nor did I fancy having a home that reeked of vinegar for the next several weeks (an unavoidable by-product of pickling anything), so I opted to make quick "refrigerator" pickles. These are a whole lot easier to make than "real" pickles -- instead of cooking the vegetable in vinegar, you simply immerse it in the pickling mixture and chill in the refrigerator. The only downside is that you can't store them indefinitely like you can the "cooked" kind that you are canned in sterilized jars. But they're so tasty that getting rid of them in a few days is usually not a problem!
Since these pickles are not meant for long-term storage, you should free to play with the amounts of vinegar, sugar and salt - the important thing is to make sure that all the slices are submerged in the pickling liquid and give them enough time to pickle in the fridge before eating. If you prefer a more traditional pickle taste, use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in place of the rice vinegar.
Here's a glimpse into our fridge - aren't they pretty?
Pickled Watermelon Radishes
Makes 2 cups
* 2 cups sliced radish
* 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges and separated
* 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or other vinegar)
* 1/8 cup sugar (start with this amount - you can always add more if you feel it's necessary but rice vinegar is pretty sweet on its own)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1. Slice the radishes -you can do thin slices or julienned sticks- and the onion. Place the radish slices and onion in a large bowl or pack them into a jar. In another bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
2. Pour the pickling mixture over the sliced radish and onion until they're fully covered.
3. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
You might also like:
- Pickled Wild Ramps
- Divine Pickled Beets With Cumin & Cloves
- Quick Pickled Beets
- Tarragon Pickled Onions
Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.