These radish quick pickles are as tasty as they are beautiful! Best of all, they are easy to make – no canning equipment required!
Radishes are one of my favorite garden veggies to grow! They are incredibly versatile, fast growing and happy to grow almost anywhere. Best of all, they are an amazing companion plant for many garden crops, including cucumbers and squash! And, if you let them go to seed, you can enjoy blooms for the pollinators and edible seed pods for yourself!
I know a lot of people are skeptical of radishes, but ya’ll are crazy! 🤣 I think they are delicious! I love eating radishes fresh to add that fantastic crispiness and a hint of heat to dishes. They are amazing in cold pastas and quinoa salads. I also adore toast topped with radish slices and a farm fresh fried egg! And the greens are edible too – although they are best sautéed in my opinion.
In addition to eating radishes raw, I love to prepare them as quick pickles. The pickling brine gives them an extra tangy flavor and the perfect crispness! Mmmm – perfect for tacos and Asian dishes!
Plus, quick pickling is a great way to easily preserve your harvest so you can enjoy it a little longer! I especially love making this recipe with my fall garden radishes so that I can enjoy them all the way until Christmastime, long after the growing season has ended.
What is a “quick pickle”?
Quick pickles (also commonly called “refrigerator pickles”) are made from veggies that are preserved in a vinegar-based brine. You can make quick pickles from pretty much any veggie! Some common ones include cucumber, zucchini, carrots, beets and onions.
Quick pickles are not canned using a water-bath or pressure canning system. Because of this, they must be stored in the refrigerator. They also don’t last as long as canned pickles. On average, they are best when used within 2-3 months after you make them.
Since quick pickles aren’t shelf-stable and don’t last as long as traditionally canned pickles, you might be wondering why you wouldn’t just make pickles. Well, there is one huge advantage to quick pickles. Like the name suggests: they are quick and easy to make!
You can whip up a batch of quick pickles in about an hour and you don’t need any canning equipment. Another reason I love making quick pickles is that they can be made without a lot of cooking that overheats the house during the summer! Quick pickling is also one of my favorite ways to use up smaller batches of veggies that I harvest from the garden.
Making your radish quick pickles:
Fresh from the garden is best:
The fresher the veggies, the crispier the pickles! For this reason, whether we are quick pickling or making traditional canned pickles, we wait until we are ready to make the pickles to harvest our veggies. The veggies go straight from the garden to the kitchen sink for a good scrubbing. Then they get sliced and pickled right away. It’s really the best way to make sure your pickles have that perfect crispness every time!
Making the brine:
The brine is key to any pickle mix. For this recipe, a basic brine is made by combining equal parts water and vinegar. I use white vinegar because it’s the most affordable, but you can use other vinegars to impart different flavors on your pickles. However, aged vinegars (like balsamic) aren’t recommended for pickling recipes. I also add a little salt and sugar to the brine to help flavor it. The brine is then heated to properly combine all the ingredients. Depending on how many radishes you have and how tightly you pack your jars, you may need more of less brine to fill your jars.
These radish quick pickles are extremely versatile! I love to top my tacos with radishes, so I use a cilantro, jalapeños and red pepper to flavor mine. But, you can include any herbs and spices that you want to flavor your radish pickles! Garlic and dill are delish! You can even combine other veggies into your pickle mix. Carrots are an especially tasty addition to this recipe!
Radish Quick Pickles:
For the Pickles:
- 2 pounds radishes (about 6-7 cups), washed & sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup jalapeños, fresh or pickled, chopped
- 3 Tbs pickling spices
- 1-3 tsp ground spices such as garlic, paprika, chili powder, etc. (optional)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6 pint jars (cleaned & sterilized) with lids
For the Brine:
- 2.5 cups water
- 2.5 cups vinegar
- 2.5 Tbs pickling salt (or 5 tsp sea salt)
- 1 Tbs sugar
- *You may need less or more brine based on how full you pack your jars
- Prepare the brine. Combine brine ingredients in a small pot. Heat until just boiling to thoroughly incorporate sugar and salt. Turn off burner and let cool slightly.
- Combine sliced radishes, chopped cilantro and chopped jalapeños in a large bowl and stir gently to mix them together.
- Place 1/4-1/2 tsp of pickling spices in the bottom of each pint jar. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and any other ground spices to the jars as desired.
- Pack the jars with the radish, cilantro and jalapeño mix. Fill the jars to the base of the neck, leaving about 1 inch of headspace.
- Use a canning funnel and ladle to pour the brine into the jars. Fill the jars until the radishes are completely covered by the brine.
- Run a nonmetallic knife or canning bubble remover around the sides of the jar to remove as many air bubbles as possible. This may dislodge some of the radish slices. Push them back down into the brine or add a bit more brine to ensure they are fully submerged.
- Tightly secure canning lids.
- Allow the jars to fully cool on the counter, then move them to the fridge.
Store pickles in fridge. For best flavor, let your pickles rest in the fridge for at least 48 hours before enjoying! Flavor will increase over time. Pickles last about 2 months.