Crunchy Pickled Radish Slices

With this season’s radishes I was looking forward to planting new seeds, harvesting and eventually eating the l-inch or bigger bulbs I bought called watermelon radishes. They are round and very unique with red, white and green coloration resembling a watermelon. This is the latest in radishes and I have been saving all kinds of recipes to try this spring.

No, not this kind of watermelon on the left Β but ones Β like in the picture on the right. Dean sure picked a bunch! These are old pictures by the way – the kids are all in their 20’s now πŸ™‚

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This is an heirloom Chinese daikon radish and contains a pungent chemical compound that when released are a natural repellent to weeds, pests and soil born pathogens. I always planted them not just to eat but repel bugs from my lettuce and other crops and also for all of the kids, who have come and gone, who just loved to pull them out of the soil. So, when they wanted to pick something it was always the root crops; like radishes, carrots, onions and my elephant garlic. Oh that funny looking plant on the right is lettuce that went to seed – I saved those for the kids too. Tommy thought he was a Ninja fighter and the lettuce was a weapon πŸ™‚

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To begin with, I consider myself an experienced gardener, not to the extent that I have grown everything or know everything. I have had a lot of success and of course there have been failures over the past 40+ years. Many know that I am an Advanced Organic Master Gardener so Β for over 25 years I have had lots of additional training and experience.

Radishes are perhaps one of the easiest things to grow, right? Wrong! I recently had my first experience with radishes that did not bulb; why did this happen? I always thin my radishes when the plants are big enough to grab hold of. Too much nitrogen can cause this but I don’t use store-bought fertilizers – I always use compost. They got plenty of light each day so this was not a factor. We had a funny spring with hot and cold weather so that could have been the reason. But then why did my French Breakfast radishes do fine and they were just 6 inches away. Bad seed perhaps? The mystery of nature and gardening πŸ™‚

Lots of green leaves but no bulbs in the pictures below. I also planted French Breakfast radishes (a new favorite from last year) that did beautifully.

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So, what am I trying to say? Gardening is fun and can be challenging but never give up. I will try these again in the Fall – I have already ordered new seeds.

My French Breakfast radishes from last year and Buttered Radish Tartines.

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This recipe evolved into a special post for me because:

  1. I decided to use Selma’s recipe she posted for the 50th Fiesta Friday Β  when she was a co-host (I did make a few changes)
  2. I Β kept her recipe in a “veggie Β file” and it was fun to go back and see our communication with each other
  3. Selma mentioned my post (calling it a pudding) Pecan-Bacon Squares A’La Mode along with 4 others who were featured the week before
  4. This was my first failure growing radishes (I mean some times they have been bitter but never have they Β not formed bulbs)
  5. Instead of a recipe using watermelon radishes I chose one using regular radishes

Crunchy Pickled Radish Slices, Adapted

  • bunch of radishes
  • 1 cup white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. Michigan maple syrup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili flakes (this can make the radishes hot so be careful)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mixture of red, white and black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

Slice off the tops and tails of the radishes, wash and drain. I used my santouku knife to cut very thin slices. Mix all of the seasonings together and put half in the bottom of a nice canning jar. Fill up with radish slices, top with remaining spices.

Bring the white wine, water and maple syrup to boil and pour over the radishes to cover. Cool to room temperature and use right away or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

According to Selma “These crunchy, pickled radish slices will perk up all sorts of things from salads to steamed vegetables, steamed fish to simply cooked meats. And of course they are superb with cheese and crackers, in sandwiches, in burgers; anywhere you need a crunchy, spicy, floral, acidic hit of flavor”.

Lots of choices and they sure are delicious. Extra radishes – give these a try πŸ™‚

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju

I recently tried these tasty radish pickles with a slice of Romano cheese, buttery Ritz crackers and a little drizzle of the brine. Great snack!


The seasonings, the jar choices and the finished radish pickles.

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I’m linking my gardening experience with radishes and my crispy pickled radishes to Fiesta Friday #122. Say hello to Angie, Mollie and Aruna and join the party.

44 thoughts on “Crunchy Pickled Radish Slices

  1. Love this post and the picture of the kids….I have just been planting organic for the last 2 years and my radishes have always been great except for this year! Must be the funky weather. There were plenty of leaves but either no bulb or hardened bulb. Oh well….i cleared them all out for the next planting. Love the pickle recipe!


    • Thanks so much Zeba – glad to hear I’m not alone. I think it was the weather too! I won’t give up though as I can’t find these radishes in the stores – maybe the Farmer’s Market! Selma’s recipe is really good – easy on the chili flakes πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Huh, I have never heard of radishes that didn’t grow the bulbs. I do think I’ll plant some in between my chile pepper plants in my new raised garden bed. The recipe sounds really good, I wonder why syrup is used? Do they have a sweet taste or is that just to temper the spicy?


  3. I come from a part of India that is famous for its pickles, so I am fascinated by pickling moods used across the world. The pickled radishes look wonderful.

    Happy Fiesta Friday!


  4. Radishes are usually very easy to grow, your seeds must have been bad. My radish plants are just popping up after planting a week ago. I plant a small row, as my husband and I are the only people to eat them! Wonderful post, thank you for sharing! I love the pictures too!


    • Go figure – one variety did great and the other one didn’t. I snack on them all the time and these pickled ones offer a different way to eat them. Just had a snack of Ritz crackers, slice of Romano cheese and a couple of the radishes. Very good πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Those pickled radishes look awesome Judi. Too bad that the watermelon radishes did not do much this year. I’m thinking the crazy yo yo spring like weather had something to do with it? it’s disheartening when that happens. We’ve planted a few veggies in the garden where I volunteer, but not nearly as much as last year because of the crazy weather too. I must keep radishes in mind, Do any critters gorge on them at all?


    • I know Loretta – Zeba and I both had problems with growing radishes. Hard to believe! Bugs just like the leaves and they leave the bulbs alone usually. I plant them all over the garden in spring and fall. They don’t take up much space. The weather has been a factor hasn’t it?


  6. The pickled radishes sound delicious and have such a beautiful colour! I’ve gotten bulb-less radishes a few times as well. You may be right about it being a weather thing. I think sometimes that might make the radishes bolt before they even have a chance grow?
    I love the idea of growing daikon to keep away the bugs, especially from the poor beleaguered lettuces. Will look out for seeds next year! πŸ™‚


    • Yay – another person who didn’t get bulbs! I’ve been a gardener so many years you would think it would have happened before – maybe I just don’t remember! I always grow your garden variety radishes but wanted to try something new. Wait until you see my “seed ball” post πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s always fun to trying something new–I think we’ve stagnated with the potatoes and beets and swiss chard (the usual successes!). I’m quite new to gardening but sometimes I feel like I’ve already experienced everything that could possibly go wrong (at least with radishes)…but there is always more to see! Maybe it will be bulbless beets this year…uh oh πŸ™‚


  7. The photos of the children are precious. I do not have the good fortune of planting my own produce, but love seeing others. I was fascinated by Selma’s radish pickle and was thinking I should give it a try… you beat me to it. πŸ˜€


  8. Last year I grew watermelon radishes and didn’t get a single bulb (root)! Lots of leaves, though. And I did only use compost, too. But I’m growing French Breakfast right now and they seem to be doing fine. I’ve done pickled radish a few times, it’s good!! I wish there’s a way to prevent the color from fading, though.


    • Oops – missed your comment somehow. I like the French Breakfast a lot since I first started to grow them last year. I will give the watermelon radishes another try this fall with new seeds. Add a little food coloring πŸ™‚


  9. Wonderful post Judi. Loved seeing your children as little ones enjoying picking the radishes. You have been a gardener a long time! So happy to see a Selma recipe featured too. I have never pickled radishes but am intrigued to try. The French breakfast radishes are so nice. Milder. With the mandoline I think I got 40 slices out of just one radish! I hope you have a better crop next time. I think it was a bad batch of seeds.


    • Thanks Johanne – actually the kids are nephews and niece. I was real happy to see that I had saved Selma’s recipe – it fit this post perfectly. I love the French Breakfast radishes as they are milder. I bought more watermelon seeds so we shall see in the Fall planting.


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