This spring was unusually hot, and that’s probably why a lot of my colder weather crops (radish, bok choy, spinach, arugula…) went to flower way to early. I’ve been staring at all those seed pods on the radishes, wondering what to do with them. Yes, I can (and will) save some seed for planting next season, but there is way to much to do just that!
Then I read this post about pickling radish seed pods by Garden Betty. I am using my own recipe (which is more or less universal and can be applied to many other veggies), but I would be lying if I said I did not get the idea itself elsewhere.
So here’s what you’ll need to pickle those pods. Since this was the first attempt, I only made two 8Oz jars, but the recipe can be scaled up or down, as needed.
- Radish seed pods, rinsed – about 5Oz (150g)
- Garlic – one clove, sliced
- Black peppercorns – about 10 (depending how fresh they are, mine were pretty old)
- Bay leaf – 2
- Water – 1Qt (500mL)
- Salt – 5 tsp
- Sugar – 1 1/2 tsp
- Distilled white vinegar – 2 Tbsp
Here are the step-by-step instructions.
- Sterilize the jars and lids (I simply boil them for 5 minutes). Please be careful holding the jars – they are hot! I use silicone-covered kitchen tongs.
- Prepare the pickling brine by bringing water to a boil and dissolving the salt and sugar. Lower the heat and keep at a simmer until ready to pour into jars. Right before pouring, turn off the heat and mix in the vinegar.
- Place the garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf in the sterilized jar.
- Then fill the jars up with radish seed pods. Pack the jars tightly, but without crushing the pods.
- Pour the hot pickling brine over the pods, filling the jars completely.
- Cover the jars with sterilized lids and press tightly, to remove as much of the trapped air as possible.
- Tighten the lids.
- Invert the jars and set them to rest like this overnight. The jars are still very hot, so handle with care. This step makes sure all surfaces were exposed to the pickling brine, and you will also see right away if the lids aren’t sealed properly (the brine will start leaking.
- You can taste the fruits of your labor as soon as the following day!
- Storage: as with all pickled foods, properly sterilized and sealed jars should be safe to store in a cool dark place. A cellar would be perfect, if you have one (we don’t). As we are in the middle of a heat wave, I opted for a better-safe-than-sorry approach and store my pickles in the fridge (I’ll probably move them to the pantry in fall, assuming there is anything left to move).
This is the most basic pickling recipe possible, the whole thing took me less than 15 minutes to prepare. You can always experiment with the brine, for example, adding more spices (dill seeds, red peppers are great candidates to try).
These pickled radish pods even managed to get my husband’s approval, which is a big deal, because he resents gardening in all its forms.
So go ahead and try this recipe out, I hope you enjoy it!