20 minutes, plus softening and pickling time
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.
Each 1/4-cup serving: