We have radish, lots of radish! My sweetie has been harvesting his prolific crop of French Breakfast radish. It’s the perfect balance of sweet at first crunchy bite, then peppery with a mustardy overtone. What do you do when you have an abundance of veg – make pickles of course!
Quick version: you boil up a brine mix in a pot, let it cool and pour over fresh cut veg. Yup, pickles are really that easy.
Apparently the French eat this variety of radish washed, trimmed, split, stuffed with softened butter and then dipped in fleur de sel. Sounds good to me! I read somewhere that the French eat blue cheese with butter too, as butter has a talent for cutting through sharp flavours and balancing them. The perfect Keto addition! I remember growing up how my sister loved butter and used to eat the delicious farm butter we had straight out the butter dish and Mum getting so cross when discovering the raided butter dish in the cupboard! Spoti had a discerning taste for buttery goodness early on, that’s for sure.
This is my Mum’s preserving brining recipe you can pour over almost any raw firm salad veg once the brine is cooled. It’s written up in the old recipe book from late 80’s – 90’s I’ve pictured here before. BTW, Mum’s Wholewheat Seed Brown Bread written on a recipe card (remember those?!) by her on the left is a fantastic recipe. I grew up on that delicious freshly baked bread with gobs of butter if my sister had left us some!
Ingredients: if you don’t have all the spices – don’t worry! use what you have to hand or any pickling spice mix you like
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar (I like using rice vinegar, it’s milder)
- 1 heaped tblspn salt
- 1 cup xylitol
- bay leaves – at least about 3 per jar
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 chopped red chili or 1 tblspn chili flakes
- 2 tblspn mustard seeds
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 anise pods
- 1 tblspn each cumin seeds and fennel seeds
- 16 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb fresh ginger
- 2 large jars
- Mix all your spices together in the water and vinegar with the sugar (leave out the ginger and garlic)
- Bring brine to a boil, turn off and then let cool
- Once cool add your sliced veg to sterilised jars
- Add fresh garlic and ginger
- Pour cooled brine into jars, seal and let stand one to two days on counter
- Refrigerate and I suggest eating after 5 days for best flavours!
- The chili you see below is a Scotch Bonnet chili and hot as all merry heck! #respect I dropped it in whole as I was worried about burning my hands chopping it up. I grew them a few years ago and froze them whole and they are still perfect. I should probably remember to remove it from the jar it plopped into!
The brine turns a lovely pink after a while.