Pickled cucumbers are always nice, but we predict pickled radishes are going to take over as this summer's most popular cookout topper. You can pickle radishes straight from your garden for extra freshness and crispiness. Use them to top burgers or as a snack all on their own. We'll teach you how to pickle radishes step-by-step so you can enjoy this tasty new spin on summer pickles. If you want to save them long-term, don't worry—we've got tips for canned radish pickles along with refrigerator radish pickles.
Wash 8 ounces of radishes and trim the root ends just before using. Using a paring knife or a mandoline, slice the radishes as thinly as possible. You should have 2 cups sliced radishes. Slice 1 small onion into thin wedges, and use your hands to separate the layers of each wedge into pieces. Place the radish slices and onion pieces in a large bowl.
In another bowl, stir together 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt until sugar is dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the radishes and onions. If desired, add 6 heads fresh dill weed and/or 1 tablespoon whole pink or black peppercorns for extra flavor. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Be sure to use within 3 days. When you open the container after refrigerating, the radish mixture will have a pungent aroma. You will end up with about 2 cups of the pickled radish mixture.
Tip: Over time the radish mixture may lose some of its vibrant color, but the flavor will deepen and the radishes will remain crunchy. The color of the pickled mixture may also vary depending on the variety and age of the radishes.
Serve these pickled veggies in place of dill pickles on burgers or brats, on a relish tray or appetizer platter, or as a snack along with crackers and cheese. They also make an ideal gift when packaged in a canning jar (but we won't blame you if you want to keep them all to yourself!).
Quick pickles are definitely ideal for an upcoming barbecue, but if you want to be able to preserve your radishes a little longer, canning is the way to go. While refrigerator pickles will keep only for a few days, canned pickled radishes can last for a few months—making them great summer food gifts. For basic canned radish pickles, follow this recipe:
Radishes are the root of a plant that belongs to the mustard family. They vary in size, shape, and color, as well as degree of spiciness, depending on the variety. Any radish will work for pickling. Although radishes can be grown year-round, they tend to be sweeter in the winter and spring, and more bitter or peppery during the dry summer months. One way to know if your radishes are fresh is to look at the greens—fresh radish greens should be bright green with no sign of wilting or brownness. Make sure the radishes you buy don't have any holes or blemishes that could have been made by insects, and avoid radishes that feel at all soft or squishy.
Tip: Radishes can be refrigerated for up to 5 days after purchasing. Before refrigerating, remove and discard the leaves and transfer the radishes to a storage bag or container.