Fermented Spring Radishes
My son has a farm and sells his produce at the local farmers market. This past week was the first day of market and radishes and a few greens were about all anyone had. If you have radishes coming on, here’s a great idea of what to do with them.
Posted by Sarah
One of the first planted, and first ready, spring vegetables is the radish. The first one comes, and then a few more, then suddenly they are ready, all at once. Now, an overabundance of radishes can be a challenge but outside of salads, fermented radishes are surprisingly awesome. They retain a high degree of crunch, with just a hint of the radish spice and sweetness.
Now, there are other ways to decrease the radish tsunami. When planting, if you plant half a row a week you should end up with a staggered harvest, and be able to continuously eat the radishes fresh. But, sometimes the weather does not cooperate and even staggered plantings can bring forth their abundance all at once.
How To Make Fermented Radishes
• A wide-mouth quart jar
• 2 tablespoons of a moderately fine grind Sea Salt, or your favorite fermenting salt
• 3-4 cups fresh spring radishes, enough to fill the quart jar
• 1/4 cup inoculant from a successful batch of dill pickles
Scrub your airlock, weight, and jar with hot soapy water. Make sure to rinse out all soap residue, and rinse under hot water.
Scrub all the dirt off your radishes; use a nail brush to help get the dirt out of any crevices in the radish skin. Trim off any open cracks in the radishes, any blemish spots, and any rock indents. Also trim the root and top of the radish, as these are two areas where unwanted dirt and bacteria could hide.
If your radishes are all similar sizes, you can leave them whole. If you have radishes of varying size, cut the larger radishes in half, or quarters, to match the size of the smaller radishes. This will help ensure an even ferment.
Fill the quart jar to just below the shoulder with your clean radishes.
Dissolve your salt in one cup of warm water if you are using sea salt.
Add the cup of brine, and the 1/4 cup inoculant.
Radishes love floating, so slip your glass fermentation weight into the jar, and top up the liquid in the jar with filtered water, until the weight is just covered with liquid.
Secure your lid and airlock, and set your ferment jar aside on a plate. The radishes should start bubbling within 24 hours. When the bubbles have reduced to just a few fine bubbles, which will take 3-5 days depending on the ambient temperature, your ferment is ready.
At this point, replace the lid and pop the jar into the fridge to stop the ferment and keep the radishes at their crispy and crunchy best.
Fermenting is a good preservation tactic to use on your overabundance of spring radishes. The fermentation process actually cuts the spice of the radishes. So, if your radishes are too spicy for your family’s fresh eating, try a quick ferment so that the radishes can grace your table, instead of your compost pile.
If you like fermented beets or carrots, you will love fermented radishes. They are awesome.
Fermentools’ home fermenting kits are made in North America of surgical steel to last a lifetime. Order a 12-pack kit today and you will never run out of supplies in the middle of harvest season.
Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DIY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands-on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn’t writing about them, you’ll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at wearingwoad.com, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at sarahdalzielmedia.com, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.