Quick Pickled Watermelon Radish

Watermelon radishes are one of spring’s most stunning appearances at the farmers market.

The round root vegetables are white on the outside, but one slice reveals a hidden, deep fuchsia center. Sweet, spicy, and crunchy, the heirloom variety of the daikon radish is a great addition to spring salads. Pickling them transforms them into a delectable zingy accompaniment to tacos or weekend hotdogs and hamburgers. For those who find pickling intimidating, quick pickling, I promise, is super easy, and once you start here, you’ll be pickling everything.

Sliced watermelon radish

Quick Pickled Watermelon Radish

6 ounces watermelon radish thinly sliced
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon peppercorns
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ jalapeño, sliced in strips
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1. Wash radishes, dry, and slice using a mandoline or sharp knife about a ¼ inch thick. Alternatively, you can cut into matchsticks, or wedges.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, honey, peppercorns, salt, and heat until ingredients are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the lime juice.

3. Place the radishes, garlic, and jalapeño in a clean jar and pour the liquid into the jar. Leave about ¼ inch of room at the top. Cover, let cool, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Photo of pickled watermelon radishes.

This story is part of National Geographic‘s special eight-month Future of Food series.

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