Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pickled Radis Noir

A couple of months ago, Hank Shaw was seeking ideas for the use of radis noir, which is ubiquitous on market tables here in Lyon at the end of winter. I immediately suggested pickles, since I had some experience with simple pickled spring radishes and knew that this type of root generally takes kindly to a vinegar pickling method. The next time I was out with my basket, I decided to give pickling them a try with a couple of big ones wedged into chunks. Coriander seeds harvested last autumn from my garden, whole fennel seeds and bay leaves went into the jar, along with a handful of shallots which I simply peeled and left whole. I wasn't very enthusiastic about the results at first, since the roots seeped some of their color and gave a drab tint to the vinegar. I placed the jar alongside many other half done experiments in a cool place and forgot about it for a while.

It's funny what a little time can do. About a week ago, I realized that these pickles had taken on a nice mellow flavor. At the opening of salad season, I was fishing around for additions to my lunch bowls and suddenly I was looking at these now mature pickles in a new light. I have found that slicing them thin and sprinkling them over salads is one delicious way to enjoy them, as well as using them to garnish toasts and canapes with potted meat and slices of dried sausage. They are excellent slivered and folded into Caviar de la Croix Rousse. They add crisp punctuation and look pretty too. This jar is almost halfway gone and I don't suspect they'll last very much longer. They came out tasting so nice, I think I'll do two jars next year.

When you pickle radis noir, be sure to give them a very good scrub with a potato brush and blanch them whole before slicing them into chunks and salting them. Otherwise, the recipe and method are the same as this one here.


Blogger Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Heh. I ended up taking your advice and I did pickle a bunch of my black radishes, only I did so Japanese style. I may post on that soon, too. If I do I will send people your way. Thanks for the inspiration!

4:59 PM, April 07, 2011  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hank. I'd love to learn how to make Japanese pickles.

5:08 PM, April 07, 2011  
Blogger racheld said...

Your pickling posts always give me an undertongue tingle like sniffing the Dijon jar.

These looked so good, and I didn't have any radishes, so I did the brine over some quick-blanched haricots verts (perfect little fellows, from SAM'S, of all places).

They should "make" by suppertime.

10:32 PM, April 07, 2011  
Blogger Janet said...

Just a year ago I was in Lyon, discovering for the first time the market on the Saone, and everything else... But tell me more: "the beginning of the salad season"? Is this a real "saison" that people mark?

5:18 AM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger L Vanel said...

It is a season that I mark, Janet. When the radishes, new carrots, fresh greens, and herbs come out, I begin to make many more salads that I normally eat through winter.

9:21 AM, April 08, 2011  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Rachel, thanks for that wonderful comment. I hope your pickles were delicious!

6:37 PM, April 08, 2011  

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