Monday, June 8, 2009

Plum Vinegar Radishes

People often taste these radishes, and act surprised that they like them. I think they're drawn to them just because of the electric pink. Every week at market, though, people are amazed at the flavor. People say they don't usually like radishes, but really like these. A shopper at the market this week wanted me to ship these lovelies to her in Texas. I said no, but that I'd post the recipe here.

Here's why I said no. The pickles wintergreens is selling at the market are quick pickles; fresh, not heat preserved, and not shelf stable. I have no idea what would happen in the mail, especially in this lovely warm weather. No worries, Ms. San Antonio, you can easily make your own!
Here's what you tasted at the market:
  • 2 cups sliced radishes rubbed with 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar
  • 3 umeboshi plums, finely diced
You can use ume vinegar instead and skip the plums if you like, or use both to pump up the plum.

Stir the sugar into the vinegar until dissolved, then stir in plums. Once the radishes have "sweated," add the vinegar mixture, stir well, and refrigerate for two days. Occasionally stir so that all the radishes spend time submerged in the liquid.
BUT THEN, a twist. I was cruising the internets looking for pretty radish pictures, and found a recipe at Just Bento that includes strawberry syrup. Because I have wonderful fresh strawberries on hand, I gave it a whirl.
Instead of using strawberry syrup, though, I just pureed 5 strawberries with the sweetened vinegar. I threw in a few tiny wild strawberries, too, just because they're everywhere in the yard. I cut the radishes into moon shapes, this time, to distinguish from the non-strawberry batches.

Besides having taken that gorgeous picture (the lead photo), Just Bento was right about the flavors. The strawberry flavor is very subtle, but delicious. Spring on your plate!

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