How To Preserve Radishes

Radishes aren’t really a vegetable that screams out for preservation.  They’re usually eaten raw, after all.  The problem is that I compulsively preserve all of the produce we grow, and in the springtime this invariably means that there will be the odd bunch of radishes that goes unsold at the farmers market.  The unsold produce usually makes its way into our meals for the week, and yes, baby greens with thinly sliced radishes and mustard vinaigrette tastes wonderful after all of the kale we’ve been eating all winter, but we can only eat so much salad before that gets old.  True, you can also roast them in the oven and toss them with brown butter for something more unexpected.  When the temperature starts to spike up into the 80s during the day, however, roasting things for dinner just doesn’t seem very appropriate.

Over the years, I’ve managed to find a few ways to preserve the bounty of spring radishes.  Radishes are so delicate that one heat wave can ruin them —  leave them in the garden a few days too long and they turn tough and unpleasantly spicy.  It’s much better to pick them at their peak, right away, and turn them into something tasty while they’re still fresh and perfect.  These preservation methods will help extend the season a little bit, so that you don’t have to figure out how to do crazy things like eat a whole bed of radishes in four days.

Refrigerator PicklesRadishes make perfect pickles.  They’re so crunchy already, and when you put them in a brine in the fridge they’ll stay crisp for weeks.  Spiced with white wine, green garlic and fresh herbs from the spring garden, these pickles are majorly addictive.Pickled Radishes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • about 2 bunches of radishes
  • 1 c. pinot grigio
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • 1 c. water
  • 3″ section of stem from green garlic  (or fresh garlic tops, or scapes would work too)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 small sprig of fennel
  • 1 sprig marjoram
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tbs. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbs. sugar

In a nonreactive pot, combine all of the ingredients except the radishes.  Bring everything to a boil and then let it simmer for a five minutes to infuse the brine with the fresh herbs.  Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit after this- warm is fine, but boiling hot could cook that radishes a little bit, and we don’t want that.  Meanwhile, cut the radishes into smaller pieces.  Depending on the size and shape, you can cut them into halves, quarters, wedges or rounds (whatever makes you happy).  Pack the radishes into a clean quart jar.*  Remove the cooked herbs from the brine and discard. (If you want, you can throw a sprig of something in the jar, but I like to grab a fresh sprig).  Pour the brine over them.  Screw on the lid and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.  (The radishes take about three days to taste properly pickled.)As the radishes sit in the vinegar, the red from the outside of the roots will dye the whole thing a vibrant shade of hot pink.

*Sterilize the jar to make the pickles last longer in the fridge.

Radish ButterThis is my most favorite radish recipe ever.  This year, I used it for our ugly radishes that didn’t make it to the market.  Any that are split, cracked or sat in the garden a few days too long can just be thrown right in with everything else to make this delicious spread without compromising the quality of the final product. It’s simple, too.  Just puree the radishes with your favorite kitchen appliance for pureeing things and then mix them together with softened butter and fresh herbs.  Basically, the plan is to cram the whole early spring garden into one compound butter and then eat it on toasted sourdough bread.

This lasts for a week in the fridge, and we’ve had success freezing it but I’m not sure how long it really lasts yet. (I’ll come back and update, I promise!)  So far, those jars only sit in the freezer for a week or two before we’ve polished them off.

Radish Compound Butter

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 3 half pint jars

Ingredients:

  • about 16 radishes
  • 1 1/2 c. salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 tbs. thinly sliced garlic greens (from the growing tops of the garlic in the garden)
  • 2 tbs. chopped fennel fronds
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Puree the radishes in a food processor (or whatever you use.)   Add in the butter and the fresh herbs and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

About these ads

28 responses to “How To Preserve Radishes

  1. Reblogged this on Lv04's Blog and commented:
    SOme very interesting ways to eat radishes. Must try. Thanks for posting.

  2. i’ve always had trouble eating the last of our radishes once it starts to get hot, thanks for the ideas, i’ve made pickles before but definitely trying the butter!

  3. Both of these recipes look great. And I’ve got radishes in the ‘fridge.

  4. These are great ideas! I love radishes, but they’re so spicy that it’s hard to just eat a lot of them fresh & out of hand–pickling and butter will definitely help us use them more efficiently.

  5. I made the radish butter, mmm. I made a much smaller quantity but now I see why you make it 3 jars at a time!

  6. I’m going to try the radish butter (and maybe the pickles too). Thanks for the recipes.

  7. What great ideas! I want to try both. I certainly see me loving the butter, as my favorite way to eat radishes is sliced thin on buttered bread with salt. :)

  8. This is brilliant! We are always wondering what else to do with the radishes. Thanks a million. -Danielle

  9. Can you freeze the butter?

    • yes, it freezes just fine. The texture might change slightly, but I pureed the radishes completely so there wasn’t much crunch anyway, just the flavor of the radishes.

  10. Pingback: Radish Butter with Oregano and Dill « emmycooks

  11. Pingback: Seasonal Recipe Round-up: Radish Rampage Edition | SLUGS

  12. I just made the radish butter and it is great right off the spoon I mixed it with. I look forward to letting it sit in the fridge for a day for the flavors to meld, then slathering some on a toasted Everything bagel. My husband tried it and said it would be great on roasted meat or potatoes. Now my mind is racing thinking of all the great uses for this. Thank you for this recipe!

  13. I would like to know what pinot grigio is?????? Than you. It all sounds good.

  14. Pingback: Spring Cooking Projects | grow it cook it can it

  15. Mmmmmm..I was hesitant at first but I made the radish butter yesterday using fresh garlic scapes. As I mixed everything together it became obvious that the radishes produced so much water the mixture wouldn’t cream together well, so I looked in the fridge and spied some parmesan that I thought may help absorb the water, so I tossed in a handful. It did seem to help..although the finished product was still slightly runny prior to refrigeration. Most importantly the entire recipe is superb broiled on fresh bread!!! Yummy! Thanks for creating and posting! I will never be hesitant to make this again!

  16. Pingback: Purple Cauliflower Pickles | grow it cook it can it

  17. The spread works well with filadelfia cheese and a bit of spice. Try it!

  18. These are great recipe ideas! I’m going to follow this blog because I love canning and preserving stuff from our garden too… Couple questions though- on the pickles, can you use dried herbs? And on the butter, what would you recommend if we aren’t currently growing garlic? All I’ve got is the store-bought topless stuff. Thanks in advance for your opinion!

  19. We have a ton of radishes and I came hunting for recipes to use. Found the radish butter recipe I want to try out. The problem is,I don’t have garlic greens or fennel fronds. Any suggestions as to what I can use in place of these?

  20. A heat unit that is rated for 1,500 Watts will draw 1,500
    Watts when it is operating.. . Any heat unit will only draw its designed amount of watts.
    Just read the info tag attached to it, just the same as any light bulb.

  21. The pickled radishes taste ok but hard to get past the smell.

  22. curious– we love fried radishes and also to roast them in the oven– so if you added some lemon juice to each har like you do turnips and etc why can’t you can radishes and not pickle them????

    • karen- sorry for the huge delay! you can absolutely can radishes, but i think they taste better when they’re not processed in a water bath. it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, though, and i’m sure there’s a recipe out there that would be good.

  23. I was just warming up some leftover mashed potato and had been looking up recipes for white radishes out of my garden.. I though heck why not cut some up in the mashed potato before I nuke it.. well so glad I did. .tastes so good.. also sliced up some tomatoes and it all went well together with my pepperoncini peppers.. LOL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s