Friday, January 11, 2013

Pickled Watermelon Radishes

pretty food makes me happy, and so do homemade pickles.
Asian-Style Pickled Watermelon Radishes
Peeled watermelon radishes from the Egleston winter farmer's market. Gorgeous.
Watermelon radishes, peeled and stem end removed.

Watermelon radishes are like the quiet cool kids of the radish world. Their muted exteriors bear no clues to the beautiful shock or color contained within; poetic huh? What can I say? There are few fruits or vegetables quite as stunningly inspiring as these little tubers. Slicing one open never fails to put a smile on my face, and maybe a little poetry in my head. Yes, radishes are something of an acquired taste, but if you're trying to gently ease into radish-world, they're a damn good way to start. 

Watermelon radish slices, ready for pickling.
While traditional radishes have an strong earthy smell and taste, watermelon radishes are much milder and slightly sweet making them a fantastic raw snack. They generally grow larger, usually a couple of inches in diameter, making them perfect for slicing and, of course, pickling. This recipe is for an Asian-flavored pickle and includes some traditional ingredients such as rice vinegar, sesame oil and coriander. I quite literally always have a jar of these in my fridge as they are a key component in one of my all time favorite meals: pickled watermelon radishes on a bed of seasoned sushi rice, topped with toasted seaweed. The Asian flavors in the pickles play beautifully off the seasoned sushi rice and the crunchy seaweed, making for a perfect and healthy one-bowl meal. They are also a fantastic snack all on their own or delicious (and gorgeous) paired with a light avocado-citrus salad. 

Radishes and onion slices with coriander seeds.. 
Asian-Style Pickled Watermelon Radishes
You will need a clean pint jar with a tightly fitting lid 

1 large watermelon radish (approximately 1c sliced); 
scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1/8" thick slices
1 small white onion, halved and cut into 1/8" thick slices
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of ground pepper

Finished recipe, ready to be covered and chilled. 

Slice watermelon radishes and onions and place in medium sized bowl.
Add vinegars, salt, sugar, coriander, oils and a pinch of pepper, stir to combine. 
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours; 
this will give the flavors time to develop.

They are ready to eat after 12hrs in the fridge, but the longer you leave them, 
the deeper the flavor will be.

Transfer radishes to a clean glass jar with a tightly fitting lid.

Will keep refrigerated for up to a month.
Keep these in the fridge and just try to resist eating them all.

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