Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PICKLED RADISHES



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I had toyed with the idea of pickling radishes for a while, but when Paul and I had dinner one evening at The Community Table in Washington, Connecticut, I knew they were going on my “to pickle list.”

Community Table’s Executive Chef Joel Viehland has an extensive background having worked with numerous well-respected chefs throughout his career, including Chef Katy Sparks at Gramercy Tavern, Chez es Saada (now closed) and Quilty’s in Soho (also shuttered); with Chef Susan Spicer and Chef Donald Link at Herbsaint in New Orleans, and later spent two years at Noma, at that time a small two-star Michelin restaurant. While he was there, San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Restaurants in the World ranked the restaurant third in the world, and I believe Noma is currently ranked Number One.

Community Table’s approach to cuisine “is rooted in timeless cooking techniques and methods of preserving foods. Cooking seasonally and only with food gathered from the surrounding environment,” and like myself they believe that our triangle of Litchfield County, Connecticut; Dutchess County, New York; and Berkshire County, Massachusetts are home to some of the most amazing farms in the United States. Because the restaurant serves only seasonal and locally grown and procured food including foraged foods, their menu changes daily. To find out more about this amazing restaurant click here.

The salad I enjoyed the evening we had dinner this past spring was laced with quarters of a delicately sweet pickled spring radish. Returning home I searched through my pickling and preserving library and came up with a recipe I hope would make Joel proud. It certainly made my taste buds happy and I hope it does the same for yours.

The radishes will loose some of their color turning pinkish throughout.  You can do these as "refrigerator pickles" or run them through a hot water bath and keep them on the shelf for a longer period.  Of course, the longer you keep them in the pantry the less crispness they will have, but they will still be delicious.

I have been using more honey and less sugar over the years, but because I wanted a more intense " sweet and sour" flavor I went with raw sugar in this recipe.



PICKLED RADISHES


INGREDIENTS

3/4  cup Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Raw Sugar

2 Teaspoons finely chopped Ginger

1Teaspoon Black Peppercorns

1 Teaspoon finely chopped Dill Weed (optional)

2 bunches Radish


DIRECTIONS

Wash and trim radishes; if they are smaller leave whole or cut in half.

Combine Rice Vinegar, Raw Sugar, Ginger, Peppercorns and Dill in non-reactionary saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and flavors are incorporated. Remove from heat.

If you want to refrigerate, toss radishes with dressing, pack in containers, and place in refrigerator.  Wait several days for radishes to marinade. Serve in salad or as a side dish.

If preparing for pantry, pack radishes into sterilized jars (about  2-3 pints), ladle liquid evenly between jars leaving about 1/4 inch of head space, process pint jars  in a Hot Water Bath for 10 minutes.

If you do not have enough pickling liquid simply add more vinegar to jars  Will last on shelf for up to a year.  

Refrigerate after opening.




Hot Water Bath or Pressure Canning

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