Sometimes I buy vegetables and only use them once or twice. Even though I mostly meal plan and make shopping lists, I sometimes shop with my stomach. Last week I picked up some radishes to use in salads, and now I find myself with a bunch left and no meals to put in them. I have been really trying to cut down on my food waste this year, and a lot of my new things like marmalade, and zhug, have come about as a way to use up excess ingredients. For the radishes, I decided to go with the traditional way to preserve vegetables, and pickle them.
I have eaten pickled radishes before, and often have them on one of my favourite dishes: Meera Sodha’s aubergine katsu curry. My husband always makes this dish, so I’ve never actually got to the pickling before, but this recipe was what I intended to follow. What actually happened is I only half-remembered what vinegar to use, forgot the salt, and filled the jar of finely sliced radishes with only white wine vinegar instead of mixing with the lighter rice wine vinegar.
The radishes turn a beautiful pink colour, which means they’re great for adding a bit of pizzaz to a dull dish, both visually and to taste. I tried one the next day and they didn’t taste too over-powering, but I love the taste of vinegar so I may not be the best judge!
I didn’t sterilise my jar so this means I can only keep it in the fridge for a month or so before it starts to turn – if you sterilise you can keep them in the cupboard for a year or more. This is fine though, it means I can improvise with some of my set meals, and add them to salads without worrying that the vegetables will have gone off. Pickling is such a great way to preserve a vegetable – who knew?