Photographs by Jasmine Wiggins
Photographs by Jasmine Wiggins

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.

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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.

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