Watermelon radishes are milder and nuttier than he more common cherry belle radish. Once braised and pickled, they made a wonderful salad topper or sandwich layer.
Our town farmer’s market is shrinking, winding down for the season. I’m doing a lot of my produce shopping at the supermarket now, but I can still get all my root veggies locally. I recently picked up a bounty of watermelon radishes from the Sunbeam Farm stand. I’d never had them before and was so pleased with their mild and slightly nutty taste. I discovered that I liked them best raw, with a few drops of lemon juice and a flicker of salt.
But this is a blog, and I can’t just be like, “hey, y’all, eat these with lemon and salt and that’s my recipe for the day okay byeeee.” So I’m presenting you with this puckery pickled version instead. These watermelon radishes landed in my market bag at just the right time. This is the second post in my Friendly Beasts series. Today we honor the “cow, all white and red.” I originally planned to use regular cherry belle radishes for this, but once I saw the watermelon variety, I was gone. So even though they’re not technically white and red, they’re white and red-ish. White and red rad-ish? Haha redish radish get it? Okay I’ll stop now.
“I,” said the cow, all white and red/ “I gave Him my manger for his bed/ I gave Him my hay to pillow His head/ I” said the cow, all white and red
Once pickled, these radishes became tangy and pungent. They start out a pale pink immediately after pickling and then darken to a deep red. They’re briny and garlicky, with gentle notes of rosemary. They’ll pepper up even the plainest sandwich. Um, a quick word of warning. They are a little stinky, but I promise the stink does not linger. I chose to braise and pickle as opposed to just pickle because you get the pickles right away, instead of waiting for the brine to set. I also liked the minor hints of olive oil.
These last about 3 weeks (or longer if you have the proper sanitizing equipment), but taste best within the first two weeks.
- 1 1/2 lbs watermelon radishes, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- Get out a wide skillet and let it get warm over medium heat. Add the olive oil in a light layer and let it begin to shimmer.
- Add the rosemary and garlic to the pan. Give them a turn or two.
- Add the radishes and let them get a little toasty on the bottom. Stir every once in a while, so that all the radishes get a turn at the bottom of the pan. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the pepper and the liquids. Lower heat just a tad and cover.
- Continue to cook until radishes are soft but not mushy, about 15-20 min.
- Stir in the salt and remove from heat.
- Enjoy right away, or serve as a piquant side on your next family meal. Taste wonderful on sandwiches, salads, or eaten, all drippy over the sink.
lightly adapted from here