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Recipe: Quick radish pickles

Total time:

20 minutes, plus softening and pickling time

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Servings:

Makes about 2 cups

2 bunches radishes (about 3/4 pound with tops removed)

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon whole mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

3/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1. Trim the tops

and tails of the radishes and quarter them lengthwise. In a large, nonreactive bowl, toss them with 1 tablespoon kosher salt to coat well. Add water to cover and several ice cubes. Set aside until the radishes have softened slightly but are still crisp, about 2 hours. Alternatively, transfer the salted radishes without the water and ice cubes to a Japanese pickle maker and screw down the top.

2. While the radishes

are softening, toast the mustard seed and black peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, one-half cup water, the sugar and the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool until the pickling mixture is just warm to the touch.

3. Rinse the radishes

well and pat them dry with a towel. Place them in a small, nonreactive container and pour the warm pickling mixture over them to just cover. Seal tightly and refrigerate at least 1 day to mature.

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Each 1/4-cup serving:

11 calories; 0 protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 270 mg. sodium.

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