I like quick pickles. I don't have a ton of time to make dozens of jars of the same thing endlessly, and quite honestly I get bored with flavors and really like mixing it up, using what is fresh on hand, and having small batches of a variety of quick pickles to liven up meals, crudités, salads, and of course for snacks. At any given moment year-round I have a few jars of something in my fridge. Right now I have pickled cucumbers and garlic in a slightly sweet brine, and pickled daikon which are amazingly peppery and crunchy. Spring onions are one of the first things in spring that we can find here in Wisconsin, and I like pickling them so that I can spread them out throughout the summer. I like the small green brilliance of their flavor in a pickle and they work on salads, burgers, or with a plate of hummus and tomatoes.
Spring Onion Quick Pickle
Quick pickles are a delicious way to use the bounty of the season to create a variety of flavours and textures. This recipe uses one of the gardens earliest arrivals – spring onions, or scallions.
Heat water/vinegar/sugar/salt/garlic in a pot until dissolved. Let cool to room temp.
Or try this: Add some additional zesty flavor by reducing the white vinegar in the recipe above to 1 cup and add 1/2 cup umeboshi plum vinegar.
Another bonus of having a fresh pickling brine is when all of your salad greens start coming in full blast you not only have some pickled scallions to put on your salad, but you have a tasty brine to use for salad dressings. Simply mix a little pickle brine with extra virgin olive oil, s&p, and a tiny bit of grainy mustard. Stir and boom. Delicious dressing.
I know most of us have the image of a farm woman in her hot kitchen with 422 pounds of one kind of cucumber frantically pickling and canning until 3AM. But these days we can get such a wide variety of seeds and can easily grow such a diversity of herbs, fruit, and vegetables, that we don't need to mono-pickle. Small batch pickling is a quick, easy, and delicious way to preserve the extras, the favorites, and the flavors of the season!
Spring comes so slowly after a long winter, but jumping back into the garden and kitchen to start preserving again feels good. After a long winter it feels pretty much like a big TA-DAAAAA!
I know I have mentioned a dozen times how much I love quick easy refrigerator pickles. I can make small batches. It is fast. It is easy. I can have a nice variety of pickled things in my fridge at any given moment. I can use what I grow in my own garden NOW or whatever is excess in my weekly CSA (without hoarding mountains of produce in my kitchen until I have enough to toil sweating over a hot stove for hours to make huge batches). This pickle is using radish pods and garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are those lovely little green curly-Q's which have a mild garlic flavor. Radish pods? Well, those are the seed pods your radish plants shoot up by the flowers when they bolt. They are very tasty - they have a mild pure radish flavor, a lovely snap crunch, and look like little alien pods. Yum. I am growing a variety of radish specifically for its bigger seed pods - Rat's Tail Radish - but all radishes will do this when you let them go to seed, they will just vary in size. I love these, so I always have a few rows that I let flower. Not only are these radish flowers sometimes the earliest bloomers for my pollinators, but when our Wisconsin weather goes from frigid to boiling in a week this is what often happens. So this is what you call win-win.
To harvest these you just pull the whole gangly plant up from the root and then pick off each little pod. Super simple. My husband and I pick 5, eat 2. They are so good raw. All you need to do once you have picked the pods off is rinse and soak in some salted cold water until you are ready with your other ingredients.
This recipe is what I love about refrigerator pickles. The amounts are not too exact. Equal vinegar and water, enough liquid to cover the pods/scapes in the canning jars, salt/sugar/pickling spices/dill. Quick to put together. Some time in the refrigerator to get those flavors going.
We have been eating these sprinkled over our salads, as a side with veggies or crackers, on a turkey burger, in chicken salad. Really. So good.
Radish Pod-Garlic Scape Refrigerator Pickle
Quick, crisp, and delicious, this refrigerator pickle is a favorite. Use anywhere you would use a pickle, or just pop them in your mouth from the jar. Yum.
In a bowl mix your radish pods and cut garlic scapes. Add these to your canning jar or jars, sprinkling in the peppercorns and dill equally as you fill. Depending on how wide/plump your scapes and radish pods are, this quantity should fill two pint canning jars within an inch or two of the top. As this is a quick refrigerator pickle, the exact quantity isn't as important, just having enough liquid to cover is.
I love combining the flavors of interesting veggies, and this radish pod and garlic scape pickle does just that. It is different but yet still tastes like a nice crispy crunchy pickle. Delicious!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, permaculturist, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.