Lacto-Fermented Watermelon Radish,
Purple Daikon & Carrot Pickles
The most beautiful naturally fermented pickle I’ve ever seen. They start out gorgeous in the jar, purple and orange with strikingly pink centered watermelon radishes. As fermentation continues, all the vegetables turn shades of pink. We now have Pickled Pink Lacto-Fermented Daikon Carrot Pickles. Crisp, crunchy, delicious. I just brought home more watermelon radishes to turn into pickles for Holiday gifts. These naturally fermented pickles are just too good not to share.
Radishes in the news
Radishes are one of the “hottest food…trends in restaurant and hotel dining” for 2017. “We’re seeing a rash of radishes because they are colorful, are shapely, make a lovely crunching sound in your brain, enliven the palate, enliven the plate….” M. Whiteman, Food Business News
Pink and purple daikon?
There’s more to daikon radish than the traditional long white root that most of us know. Both strikingly colored watermelon radishes and purple daikon are heirloom varieties of daikon radishes. Larger and milder than the typical red radishes, these colorful varieties are harvested in the spring and late fall. Just in time for making them into naturally fermented pickles in December and beyond. What a treat. Note: When you can’t find these heirloom varieties, substitute regular white daikon.
Pickles made naturally
- No vinegar in these lacto-fermented Daikon Carrot Pickles.
- The sour flavor and the host of beneficial bacteria come from the process of lacto-fermentation (lactic acid fermentation).
- Eating naturally fermented instead of vinegar-brined pickles (often called “quick pickles”) enhances your gut bacteria. Lacto-fermentation produces probiotic, enzyme and nutrient-rich foods.
- They taste sensational,
- balance intestinal flora,
- support the immune system,
- improve digestion and elimination, and
- boost the nutrient levels of foods eaten along with them.
Lacto-Fermented Daikon Carrot Pickles
with Watermelon Radishes and Purple Daikon
Pickled Pink Lacto-Fermented Daikon and Carrot Pickles – too delicious not to share. Try these good-for-you naturally fermented pickles on cheeseboards, in wraps, diced in salads, alongside sandwiches and straight from the jar.
Note: When you can’t find these heirloom varieties, substitute regular white daikon.
Makes 1 quart Printer-Friendly Recipes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 plus days for fermentation
1 ½ tablespoons high-quality salt, i.e., Celtic or Himalayan
2-3 medium organic watermelon radishes
2 medium organic purple daikon
3 medium organic carrots
2 cloves peeled garlic, thinly sliced
6 green cardamom pods, lightly smashed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or other red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
¼ cup whey (instructions below)
- Dissolve the salt in ¾ cup of hot water. Set this brine aside while you prepare the vegetables.
- Wash the vegetables, peeling them only if not organic. Cut them into approximately ¼-inch by 2-inch matchsticks.
- Place the sliced garlic, cardamom pods, coriander seeds and pepper flakes in the bottom of a quart Mason jar.
- Tightly pack the vegetables in the jar. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace between the top of the vegetables and the top of the jar. Fit the bay leaf in among the vegetables.
- Add an additional ¾ cup of cold water to the brine. Pour the whey into the jar. When the brine is room temperature or cooler, pour it into the jar, though you may not use all of it.
- Top the vegetables with ceramic or glass weights to press the vegetables under the brine. Cover with a lid. Or use a Pickle Pipe screwed in place with a canning band.
- Place the jar in a cupboard to ferment at room temperature. Burp the jar once a day. (No burping necessary with a Pickle Pipe.)
- With a clean spoon taste the flavor of the brine after 5 days. If you like the flavor, transfer your lacto-fermented Daikon Carrot Pickles to the refrigerator. If you prefer your pickles more sour, let them continue to ferment at room temperature. Taste the brine daily until it is just right for your taste. Then taste a pickle to be sure.
- Store your pickles in the refrigerator for about 6 months or more. The good news, they taste even better with age.
Whey & Yogurt Cheese
- Make whey by straining organic, plain whole milk yogurt with “live and active cultures” through four layers of damp, food-grade cheesecloth for 4-8 hours or more.
- The longer the yogurt drains, the more whey you’ll have and the thicker the remaining yogurt cheese. Refrigerate the yogurt cheese up to two weeks.
- Refrigerate whey (strained of all traces of yogurt) in a clean jar for up to 6 weeks. Use as needed.
- Add whey to smoothies, bread dough and/or any number of recipes for fermented beverages, vegetables and fruit.
- Note: Begin straining the yogurt at least an hour before beginning to prepare your lacto-fermented Daikon Carrot Pickles so you’ll have enough whey for the recipe.