Friday, February 24, 2017


There are a few veggies that are almost always available at markets and remain fairly cheap all year long. A good deal, right? But, on the other hand, we – you and I - may not be used to buying them. For me, radishes were among those veggies. I always found them somewhat overpowering like raw garlic and onions. My own feeling was that radishes were good – finely sliced - in small doses buried in a green salad but, still, the quantity that I could consume was very little indeed. Most every time I bought a bunch of those rosy red roots, I found some left behind in my vegetable bin at the end of the week.

I, of course, knew what to do - serve the remainder to my husband who loves them and can eat them as a snack without anything – not even a dressing or dip. Now, with this recipe that I'm sharing with you, I know how to love those little red goodies and find no obstacle to consuming some of them most any day. I found that I truly like radishes when they pack a vinegary punch. Actually, the recipe is one my husband showed me how to make. I asked him to add the carrots, thinking - correctly, as it turned out - that the sweet of the carrot would combine nicely with the spicy tart of the radish.

So, here's our recipe for crisp, radish and carrot pickles. We made our first batch this past Sunday afternoon. We have pickled other things, before, and I don’t know why we took me so long to make these tasty pickles. They're so easy to make and go great with all kinds of foods, from tacos to salads, to sandwiches and crackers.

We sliced the veggies very thin because that way they soak up the flavors of vinegar and spices in just a few hours. A sharp chef’s knife was the key to getting the thin slices.
A sharp chef-style knife will make the work a lot easier.

The best thing about these quick pickles is that they’re ready munch on right away. We ate some about 4 hours after they were made – still a bit crunchy but good.

Here is the recipe for these tasty pickled radishes and carrots . The recipe as given below yields about 2 to 3 cups of pickles.

1 bunch radishes (should make 1.5 cups when thinly sliced)
2 medium carrots, also thinly sliced (about a cup's worth)
¾ cup balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
juice of a medium lime (something my husband always adds for extra zip)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper or a bit of crushed red pepper flakes

To prepare the veggies: Wash and slice off the tops and bottoms of the radishes and carrots, then use a sharp knife to slice the veggies into very thin rounds. Peel and mince the garlic. Pack the rounds and garlic into a quart-sized canning jar.  

Sprinkle the kosher salt on top and shake the jar to thoroughly salt the veggies. Leave without a top (or cover with a clean kitchen cloth secured to the jar with a rubber band) and let them sweat for, at least, 30 minutes. This step ensure crunchier veggies.

Add the vinegar, lemon juice and pepper. If you use some other kind of vinegar - other than balsamic - you may want to dissolve a couple of teaspoons of sugar with it. Make sure that there is some space between the veggies and the rim of the jar. This allows a space for the good gases produced by fermentation. Shake, again, to make sure you've coated all the veggies. Put a secure top on the jar and refrigerate. They're good to go from the first day.
These pickles keep very well for a week or ten days, and usually will be gone long before that. 

Best of all, you can pickle almost any thinly sliced vegetables in this manner. Try carrots, beets, cucumbers, red onions, cabbage or cauliflower. The thinner you slice the vegetables, the better they absorb the vinegar solution and taste like pickles.

Vinegar is good for us, too. It helps control high blood pressure, improve digestive system, reduce urinary tract infections and strengthen bone. With this pickle recipe, you will have a delicious way to have a little vinegar everyday. So go ahead with confidence and make pickles of all kinds, knowing it's almost impossible to get it wrong, and, for most people, they're a spicy delight. And get ready to for a lifetime (healthy) addiction to homemade pickles.

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