Monday, June 8, 2009

Daikon radishes - 2nd planting

Daikon radishes make great fresh pickles but before I could get a picture of our first crop, we ate them plain. Just peeled and sliced which left none for pickling.

Last week, DH started pulling radishes from the second planting so I gathered a handful to make pickles. They aren't too hot this year, probably due to the wonderful spring rains we've had. Some years they bring tears to my eyes and I pickle them in self-defense. A day or two in vinegar may make them sharp but it tones down the heat.

The idea for this recipe came from a Vietnamese restaurant in a nearby town. The restaurant's been gone for years but we still miss it and the founders. They served an appetizer comprised of thinly sliced, marinated beef rolled in grape leaves then grilled. It was accompanied by lettuce leaves and a daikon-carrot pickle. I loved the grape leaf skewers but would often ask for additional pickle to go with the main course, too.

The pickle's great on cold sandwiches, served with crackers and cheese or alongside a main dish. DS likes to cut the vegetables with a wavy knife but matchstick pieces look good jumbled together on a lettuce leaf, too.

The recipe's very simple. Use a 2-to-1 ratio of unseasoned rice vinegar and sugar (or about half as much honey, if desired) and add a dash of salt. Make enough liquid mixture to cover whatever amount of sliced radishes and carrots you have on hand. I put the veg in a quart jar then I can judge the amount of liquid by covering them with water and then pouring it off into a glass measuring cup if I'm unsure how much liquid mixture to make.

So the recipe looks like this:

Daikon-Carrot Pickle

1/2 pound daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir vinegar, sugar (or honey) and salt together till blended. Pour over sliced veg to cover and chill several hours before serving. Will keep a week or more in the fridge.

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