Pickled radish etc

Quick pickled radish with ginger

Pickles are fun to make. Honest. This is somewhere between a Korean radish pickle and a Lebanese pink pickled turnip. Eaten straight away, it is crunchy and refreshing, but if you leave it in the fridge for a couple of days, the slices soften and turn a delicate coral, like Japanese pickled ginger. It’s as good with falafel and hummus as it is scattered over something like steamed asparagus and mozzarella.

Makes 1 jar
radishes 1 bunch, any kind – but crisp
sea salt 1 tsp
ginger 1 thumb, peeled and finely chopped
rice vinegar 80ml (at a push, you could use cider or white-wine vinegar)
water 60ml
sugar 4 tsp

You will need a Kilner-style jar, sterilised or fresh from a hot dishwasher. Wash and trim the radishes and slice them. Rub with the salt in a bowl and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze out any liquid and layer them up in the jar with the ginger. Mix the vinegar, water and sugar and pour over the radishes. Put in the fridge for half an hour – or for up to a week.

Deconstructed: sushi rice with pickled radish, avocado and black sesame

I first learned about scattered sushi from one of Kimiko Barber’s books. It’s a brilliant idea: a big bowl of seasoned sushi rice with various toppings – all the flavours of sushi with half the work. We often have it for a family supper and it’s an excellent radish vehicle.

Serves 4-6
sushi rice 400g
quick pickled radish with ginger 1 jar (see recipe above)
fresh radishes 1 bunch, any kind, washed and quartered
avocados 2 small, sliced
black sesame seeds 1 tbsp (white seeds are fine if that’s all you have)

First measure the volume of the sushi rice. Then measure out 1¼ times the volume of water (if the rice measures 400ml, you’d want 500ml water and so on). Rinse the rice well under running water in a sieve, lifting the rice with your hand until the water runs clear. Cook in a rice cooker if you have one. I use a pressure cooker – bring to high pressure, cook for 3 minutes and leave to release naturally. But it also works fine in a normal saucepan. Just put the rice and water in the pan on the hob, bring to a simmer and cook on a low heat, lid on, for 15 minutes. Leave to stand off the heat for another 15 minutes.

However you cooked the rice, empty it into a wide, shallow serving dish. Using a spatula, gently mix in 3 tbsp (or more, to taste) of the pickling vinegar from the jar of radishes as the rice cools. Now scatter with the fresh radishes, avocado, sesame seeds and as many pickled radishes as you like.

Eat with wasabi, soy sauce and maybe a chive omelette on the side.

Roast radish and orange salad

This is a cross between Claudia Roden’s Moroccan orange and radish salad and Nigella Lawson’s roast radishes. Any leftovers are good in a lunchbox, with feta.

Serves 4
radishes 600g (trimmed weight)
olive oil 2 tbsp
hazelnuts 50g
oranges 2 large
mint a bunch
cumin seeds 1 tsp, toasted in a pan
salt
lemon (optional) a squeeze, to taste

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Wash and halve the radishes, toss in the oil and put on a baking tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, put the hazelnuts in the oven on a separate tray.

Peel and slice the oranges with a sharp knife. Put the oranges and all the juice from the chopping board in a bowl.

Add the radishes, hazelnuts, mint, cumin and plenty of salt. Taste to see if it needs more oil, or perhaps a squeeze of lemon.

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