Crisp Pickled Radishes
These quick pickled radishes are both beautiful and versatile. Personally, I like to serve them with smoked fish on finger sandwiches or crackers. The crunchy texture and sweet, mildly spicy flavor contrast beautifully with the unctuousness of smoked fish.
The Art of Preservation
When I was a young lady, canning was serious business. Most families spent the months of June and August putting up preserves which lasted through the winter. In those days, there weren’t many fresh fruits and vegetables available during the coldest months of the year. So, we depended on preserved foods.
I remember some of my mother’s preserves with tremendous nostalgia. She used to put up brandied peaches, bread and butter pickles, strawberry jam and blackberry jam every single year.
When I was 13, I began to take more responsibility for our family’s food preservation efforts. As young folks usually do, I changed the menu a bit, putting up gooseberry jam and kosher dills. However, I would give my eye teeth today for just one jar of my mother’s luscious brandied peaches.
So, when I see exceptional fresh produce in the market, the itch to preserve dogs me. I know I don’t have the time or the storage space my mother did. More importantly, living in South Africa, we are spoiled with fantastic produce all year long. So, we no longer rely on jars of fruits and vegetables all winter.
Nonetheless, certain items — like radishes — remain very seasonal. I love radishes and am entranced by their color, texture and mild piquancy. So, when radishes are in season, I feel obliged to preserve at least a few for a rainy day.
I particularly like this recipe because it produces a manageable quantity of radishes that can easily be kept in the fridge. Thus, there is no need for boiling water baths, sterilization, or endless shelves of pantry space. Bon appétit!