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Summer’s end

Radishes layered with peppercorns, fennel, mustard, coriander and chilli

Summer is ending with storms in Queensland. I went to the Doomben races on Saturday with a group of girls and saw a total of three races before torrential rain set in and the racing was called off. On Sunday morning I took a long walk along the banks of the Brisbane river and got caught in a downpour while still 30 minutes from home. I quickly decided to abandon myself to the rain, loving the cooling splat of each raindrop, every squelching step, and the novelty of being alone on the boardwalk except for a few equally drenched cyclists flashing grins as they passed. At the storm’s zenith I experienced a momentary fear that it might start to hail. Sheltering under the Story Bridge, I was surrounded by temporary waterfalls pouring off the bridge and rocky cliffs. The air tingled deliciously – Queensland sure knows how to have a good summer storm.

Red radishes sliced using a mandolin, ready to make pickle

All this extra moisture about makes for revolting levels of humidity when the sun is shining. My hair is not coping. Summer might be ending but it is not done yet.

Chilli, coriander, fennel, mustard and pepper - whole spices for pickling brine

I made these pickled radishes back in January when summer was in full flight, but I never got around to posting the recipe. February ended roughly and March has been busy and stressful and all of a sudden it’s been a month since my last post. I never feel guilty for taking blog breaks. It is what it is and sometimes my head is too full of otherstuff to make time for creativity, which won’t be forced. Returning is always a sign that I am starting to breathe again.

Quick Spiced Radish Pickle

This recipe comes from Selma’s Table, a British blog written by the wonderfully upbeat and colourful Selma. This recipe is like so many that she features – fresh, vibrant, quick and easy. I am a sucker for pickles and chutneys but have never tried my hand at pickling anything before. Selma’s recipe was a perfect introduction, as there is no need to sterilise jars, no need to boil and test and boil some more. The rapid preparation method means that the pickles won’t keep for long, but they are unlikely to hang around anyway; I demolished my jar in a single week of ravenous after-work cheese and cracker sessions.

Sliced radishes topped with pickling brine - Quick Pickled Radishes

My love for crackers and cheese is already well documented here – add pickles and my tastebuds are tipped over the edge. These radishes remain crunchy in texture. Their heat is moderated by the pickling method, and the whole seeds become soft and chewy and moreish. The pickle is fresh and piquant and tastes absolutely homemade. I didn’t get beyond the cheddar cheese and cracker combination, but Selma advises that they are great in sandwiches, on burgers, with grilled meat and in salads.

Pickled radishes2

A few tips – if you have a mandolin, use it to slice the radishes quickly and cleanly into thin, uniform slices. If you don’t, a sharp knife and careful eye will produce almost the same result. If you like a spicy pickle, try doubling the amount of chilli flakes. And finally, one of the best things about these pickles is that you don’t need to wait to eat them. They are ready to eat as soon as the jar has cooled to room temperature. Enjoy, and I’ll be back soon with a more suitably autumnal recipe…

Pickled radishes

Quick Pickled Radishes

  • Servings: makes 1 400ml jar
  • Print
Adapted slightly from Selma’s Table

1 bunch radishes (about eight medium radishes)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
100ml white wine or apple cider vinegar
100ml water
1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp salt

Wash and trim the radishes then slice as thinly as you can – a mandolin is ideal. Mix together the spices in a small bowl, then transfer one third of the spices to the bottom of a clean glass jar. Layer over half of the sliced radishes, packing them tightly together. Sprinkle over another third of the spice mix, layer the rest of the radishes into the jar, then top with the final third of the spice mix.

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and water together with the honey or maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to ensure the honey or syrup has melted. Pour gently over the radishes then seal with the lid. Allow the jar to cool to room temperature before serving or transferring to the fridge. The radishes can be eaten as soon as the jar has cooled. They will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Slicing radishes with a mandolin for Quick Pickled Radishes


  1. Pingback: Socca for Spring | Chez Moi

    • Great timing! I’ve really only ever eaten radishes raw but (for me) this was a whole new way of thinking about them. Let me know what you think if you do try it.

      • I will – my husband’s more of a radish fan than me but I like the sound of the spice combo and your suggestion to try them with cheese.

  2. Wonderful! As an ex-Brisbanite I loved the description of the summer storms. Better than being there(!) Even more, what beautiful photographs of your pickling process. I do under-rate radishes, guilty as charged, but am tempted to mend my ways after reading your blog. Thank you Chez!

    • What a lovely comment, thank you!! I’m glad I could transport you back to Brisbane for a moment and glad you like the sound of the recipe. Let me know what you think if you do try it.

  3. I recently “pickled” watermelon radishes – as you know because you “liked” my post about it (Thank you, BTW.). But I will not be doing that again because the smell it produced was so obnoxious it made our entire house reek of one of “dirty diaper smell”. So . . . . won’t be doing that again in the house. Ick!

    Perhaps if we eat them the same day they are made?

    • I remember reading that in your post. I’m not sure what went wrong for you. Did you store them in the fridge or keep them out on the counter? I would say that they need to be tightly sealed and kept in the fridge…perhaps a pickling expert out there could advise us.

      • You mean they aren’t supposed to smell like decay? I thought that was part of the process. They tasted fine, they just smelled like beans when you soak them. ICKY! We kept them in the fridge, but every time the fridge was opened the noxious aroma would escape into the kitchen, creep into the great room, and wander up the stairs. The house literally smelled as if we had a sick baby. Not worth it. Perhaps a better container would do the trick. I really had not planned on keeping them around long.

        Your photos are lovely!

      • No I don’t think they are supposed to smell like that at all! Something might have gone wrong in your pickling process. I would say trust your nose and bin them immediately!

  4. This is such a beautiful post. Actually your whole blog is gorgeous. I have prepared pickled radishes many times but have never sliced them first. I will keep your post and follow your recipe with my next batch of radishes.

    • Thank you for such a lovely comment! I for one am very pleased to see you posting again after a little time away. I enjoy your fresh and creative recipes very much and have missed reading your posts. Hope you enjoy the radishes!

  5. dinnerbysusan

    I love radishes! This is a beautiful dish. I’m definitely going to try it!

    • Radishes are a very underrated vegetable. I like them best when they are young and mild in flavour – perfect for snacking raw- but I think that this dish works best with larger, hotter radishes as the pickling brine mellows the heat. Let me know what you think if you do try this!

    • Hi Stephanie I’m glad you like the look of this recipe – it’s a good one. Selma has a recipe for pickled courgettes on her blog that looks just as good.

  6. Oh, I am so glad you liked them so much – you’ve written them up with such enthusiasm!! Thank you for your kind comments about my blog too. On the subject of hot sticky summers, I lived in Winnipeg for 10 years – or 10 winters, as I like to say with a dramatic sigh. We did have the most wonderful electric storms breaking weeks and weeks of oppressive heat and humidity and my hair didn’t cope either!

    • Hi Selma I’m glad you like the post – hope I did your recipe justice! It’s so strange to think of Winnipeg being hot and humid rather than cold and icey, but I just asked Google and what do you know, you are right 😉

    • Hi Selma, last night I discovered (with horror) that I had given an incorrect name for your blog! You didn’t even say anything – how kind you are. All fixed now 😊

      • Thanks for fixing it but the link worked which was the main thing really!!! I once had someone really take me to task because I got her name wrong and I never want to be like that! Thanks for editing it, all the same x

      • Thank you so much Selma, I don’t feel so bad now! It’s really not that hard to be nice and (bonus) you get back what you give xx

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