How To Preserve Radishes

I love spring salads with baby greens with thinly sliced radishes and mustard vinaigrette, and radishes are lovely roasted in the oven and tossed with brown butter.  Every spring, though, we always end up with a bit too much and I end up needing to preserve some for later to keep them from going in the compost.

Over the years, I’ve managed to find a few ways to preserve radishes, even though they’re not usually a vegetable that screams out for preservation.  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 spicy.  We try to pick them at their peak, when they’re small, crisp and sweet, and turn them into something tasty while they’re still 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 PICKLES
Radishes 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 savory and delicious.

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 cool until lukewarm.  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.  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.

NOTE: The fresh herbs that I used are entirely optional based on what I had in my garden. Feel free to switch things around based on what you have.

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

RADISH BUTTER
This radish butter is so wonderful, such an elegant way to use ugly radishes that are split, cracked or were forgotten in the garden a few days too long.The technique is simple: Grate the radishes in a food processor and then mix them together with softened butter and fresh herbs.  The result is essentially the flavor of the whole spring garden in a compound butter, perfect for spreading on toasted sourdough bread.  This lasts for a week in the fridge, and we’ve had success freezing it for 1-2 months.

RADISH 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

Grate the radishes in a food processor or on a manual grater.  Blot the mixture dry with a clean kitchen towel.  Add in the softened butter and the fresh herbs and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

43 thoughts on “How To Preserve Radishes

  1. 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.

  2. 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.:)

    1. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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????

    1. 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.

  9. 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

  10. I have two watermelon radishes and one long white one, would these work well together pickled, or do you recommend the butter? I also only her Sauvignon blanc wine, might be a reason to make the butter. Looking forward to trying these.

  11. Reblogged this on PartyLikeIts1785 and commented:
    We have so many radishes in our garden, I simply cant decide what to do with them all! Tonight I’m researching ways to preserve them all! The Internet can be so frustrating sometimes!! All the broken links, all the sites that look promising and just take you to a pretty image without any real information…Pinterest, randomly shutting down because it can’t keep up with my like, pin, repin furry…ANNOYING!

    Anyway, this is hands down one of the best blog posts I’ve found so far! Can’t wait to try some of these yummy ideas and share my results!

  12. I have one suggestion when making the radish butter. After you purée your radishes, let them sit in a colander for a half an hour or so. The amount of juice in the radishes sometimes separates the butter. My radishes were particularly juicy!

  13. Any idea on how long the radish butter will last refrigerated? Im hoping to make some that will store from now (July) until the beginning of August.

    Thanks.

    1. I would try to use it faster than that. Maybe try freezing some. It might need stirring after it thaws to reincorporate everything.

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