Quick pickled radishes are an overnight sensation! Marinate thinly sliced radishes in the fridge in a brine of vinegar, sugar, and pickling spices for 8 hours or longer to yield a crunchy salty, sweet, and tart homemade condiment of your very own.
Quick pickles are part of my DNA. My grandmother always had a jar of sliced cucumbers in her refrigerator and pulled them out to add to a plate of interesting tidbits or to spread on top of a liverwurst sandwich (!) Like grandmother, daughter, and now granddaughter (me), quick pickles are always on hand to pull out for a snack or hors d’oeuvres.
My grandmother and mom just put sugar, vinegar, and a little water in a jar and shook it until the sugar dissolved. Then they added sliced cucumbers and onions, and voila! It’s that easy. Who knew?
The Quick Pickle Brine
Quick pickles are designed to be stored in the refrigerator for shorter periods of time than canned pickles. The brine is usually half sugar and half vinegar, but you can adjust the ratio of sugar to vinegar and add your own spin with a choice of vinegars like apple cider, white wine, or rice vinegar. I like to embellish them just a tiny bit with pickling spice and dill, but they’re still so easy to make.
Balsamic and aged vinegars are not great choices; they’re dark in color, which is not appealing for a quick pickle, and their strong flavor may overpower the vegetables.
How I’m Flavoring My Brining Liquid
Though grandmother’s pickles were the essence of simplicity, a little embellishment doesn’t hurt. Whole spices like this pickling spice and fresh herbs such as dill, fennel fronds, rosemary, or thyme also contribute flavor.
Cut Your Radishes As You Wish!
Slice the radishes as you wish! I thinly sliced the radishes here with a mandoline. Trim the root ends of the radishes first and cut the stems so there is just a little tail to grasp as you slice them.
For a little more crunch, slice them slightly thicker by hand, or halve or quarter them for tasty little bites.
What to Do With Pickled Radishes
Probably my favorite way to eat these radishes is on a thin slice of dense, buttered rye bread with fresh cucumber slices, topped with the pickled radishes. They make easy, crunchy nibbles to serve alongside glasses of wine.
- Add them to tuna or egg salad sandwiches for some zing
- Top tacos or nachos with them
- Put them on top of your avocado toast with sliced hard-boiled eggs
- Use them to top burgers
- Add them to grain bowls
- Of course, you should put them in your salads, too!
Prepare 2/3 cup ice water:
Place 3 to 4 ice cubes in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Add enough cold water to measure 2/3 cup.
Heat the brine ingredients:
In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, pickling spice, and 2 sprigs of dill. Bring to a boil and stir for about 1 minute, or until the sugar dissolves.
Cool the brine:
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ice water and ice cubes. Let cool until lukewarm.
Slice the radishes:
Use a mandoline or a thin, sharp paring knife to thinly slice the radishes. Pack them into 2 (1-pint) jars.
Add the brine:
Remove the wilted dill from the brine with tongs. Pour the brine and pickling spices over the radishes so that they are completely covered. Add the remaining fresh sprig of dill to each jar.
Seal the jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before eating them.
Refrigerate the pickled radishes for up to 2 weeks.
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