Here’s a fun ferment you can make any time of year, but especially in spring when local radishes are abundant. Fresh radishes from your garden or farmer’s market are delightfully peppery and will give this pickle some zing, but even the ordinary supermarket variety are tasty. I like to pickle radishes whole so I have something crunchy to bite into, but you could also quarter or slice them – they will ferment faster if you do. This is an easy ferment to get your feet wet, if you’re new to traditional pickling.
3 bunches radishes, greens removed
4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 dried chile pepper
½t juniper berries
½t green peppercorns
½t black peppercorns
¼t celery seed
2″x3″ strip kombu (optional)
Brine of 2T salt dissolved in 1qt water (3.5%)
Place garlic and spices in bottom of 1.5L jar and place kombu strip on top, if using. Gently wash radishes and take a thin slice off both the root and stem ends. Pack radishes in jar and place a small weight on top. Add brine to cover – you may need more than 1 quart. Ferment for 10 days – 2 weeks, until pleasantly sour and pickled through, but not soft. May serve whole or cut into wedges. The kombu may also be served sliced in strips.