I’m sure there’s some way to spin these radishes—quick pickled in a brine that’s equal parts sweet, sour, spicy and salt—as Passover- or Easter-friendly. Nary a speck of leavened bread! A lovely addition to your seder, tucked up against a piece of gefilte fish! A punchy addition to your otherwise ham-and-scalloped-potatoes laden Easter spread! A pre-Easter lunch bite with a hue to match the eggs hidden around the yard!
I’ve been a pickle person for as long as I can remember. It started out with the jar of Gedney’s (It’s the Minnesota pickle!) that could always be found in the refrigerator door—as a kid, I loved to spear a cold wedge and crunch my way through it. My tastes matured to Claussens at some point during my teens. Then, there was vinegar. Balsamic, cider, champagne and—ohhh—sherry. When I started to cook, I couldn’t get enough. I remember paying too much for a wee bottle of sherry vinegar, complete with a cork stopper, after I moved into my first post-college apartment in DC. I didn’t have a dishwasher and my mini-stove had only two burners, but—by god—I had that sherry vinegar.
Then came the pickled produce that ranged far beyond the cucumber. Onions. Cherries. Carrots. Cauliflower. The possibilities, clearly, were endless. But, the radish option didn’t hit me until Sunday, when the urge to quick pickle struck (don’t pretend like it hasn’t happened to you!). The sunny day, the April dateline, and the bundle of daffodils on the coffee table combined to make radishes a natural choice.
1 teaspoon fennel seeds*
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
healthy pinch red pepper flakes