As I type this, I hear rain trickling on the roof and windows, snores from dogs sleeping, and Lidia Bastianich of PBS’ Create TV discussing the differences between green, red and black lentils. The local weather channel says we will expect lows of 5 and 10 degrees this week. Glistening blankets of snow are nowhere in sight, making brittle trees and brown grass the focus of my landscaping.
I love summer for many reasons, but one thing that makes me smile in the summer is my backyard. I look out of the window as I wash dishes to see a fence covered in trees and shrubbery, hiding the neighbors behind me, giving me a small oasis in the middle of Indianapolis. But in the winter, all of the shrubs and trees are bare, leaving a wide sight line right into my neighbor’s house. It’s fine, but it’s not pretty.
This radish relish is pretty.
Lately, I’ve found myself in a canning offseason renaissance. I just sent off my application for the Purdue Extension Master Food Preserver Program, a weeklong summer class that walks you through the ins and outs of freezing, water bath canning, pressure canning and more. I’ve been canning for three years now and could process a jar of jam in my sleep, but it’s been so long since I’ve taken an educational class and I am begging for some lectures and hands-on experimentation with pros. If I am admitted into the class, I will walk out with a certification behind my name and even greater depth of knowledge about preserving food. Cross your fingers for me!
With canning on the mind, I picked up Real Food Fermentation at the library, a book that discusses the importance of eating fermented foods for healthy digestion along with recipes, notes, and tips for making fermented foods at home, such as kimchi, vinegar, sauerkraut, kombucha and more. While I have not yet experimented on my own with fermented foods, I have pickled just about everything. My hope is to ferment some cabbage and make a few winter slaws for you soon.
Interested in more canning and preserving recipes? Find em here.
Since radishes have been on sale at the grocery store for $1 per pound, I decided to do a little experiment. Could I create the same dill cucumber relish recipe with the same ingredients except swap out cucumbers for radishes? Why not try? So I did. And the result is tart and gorgeous.
If my process is strange to you, it is because I made it all up. When I wanted to make dill cucumber relish, I had a hard time finding recipes that used cucumbers and not zucchini (odd, I know), and recipes that were not sweet. It took at least 10 different recipes for me to mix and match and create my own. This radish relish follows in those footsteps.
Turmeric is added to retain the color of the radishes and add a little umami flavor, at least that’s what I’m calling it. Aside from that, it’s radishes, onions, vinegar, salt and just a tad bit of sugar to make this relish. Not to sweet (my preference) and not too tart, this radish relish adds a colorful crunch to your meal.
DILL RADISH RELISH
MAKES 8 HALF-PINTS OR 4 PINTS
- 2 pounds radishes
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- Prep the radishes by slicing off the root ends. Roughly halve the radishes and place half of them in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 10 pulses. Scoop out into a bowl and repeat with the second half.
- Add the water, ground turmeric, and kosher salt to the radishes and stir. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Scoop the radishes into a fine mesh sieve a little at a time to gently rinse the radishes with water.
- Roughly chop the onions, then pulse them in the food processor until similar texture as the radishes.
- In a large pot, heat the radishes, onions, vinegar, sugar and dill seed to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes while you prepare the water bath canning process. Alternatively, you can store your radish relish in the refrigerator, unprocessed, for up to one month.
CANNING: Bring a large canning pot of water to a boil. Sterilize the jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. Sterilize the lids and bands by simmering them in water for 5 minutes.
Hot pack the radish relish into the jars using a funnel, allowing for 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims dry and set the lids on top. Screw on the bands until fingertip tight. Process in the water bath for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool before labeling and storing in a dry place.