Spicy Pickled Watermelon Radish

Thinly sliced watermelon radish on a white background with parsley.

This recipe for pickled watermelon radish follows a very basic method for making refrigerator pickles and can easily be used to pickle any other crunchy vegetable. Watermelon radishes are so delightfully twee in appearance and the pickling process renders them a delicate shade of rose, making them look absolutely gorgeous laid out on a cheese or charcuterie board. These pickles need to sit for at least 48 hours before they’re ready to eat and can potentially stay in your fridge for a whole month, although it’s doubtful they’ll hang around that long.

spicy pickled watermelon radish:

2-3 watermelon radishes, sliced as thinly as possible into rounds

2 tsp. mustard seeds

1-2 dried whole chiles

1 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup of white wine vinegar

1/2 cup of unseasoned rice vinegar

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of white granulated sugar

  1. Prepare 1 medium-sized canning jar by washing it in very hot, soapy water and allowing to hand-dry or running it through the dishwasher.
  2. Add the mustard and coriander seeds and dried chile pepper to the jar.
  3. Bring the vinegars, water, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved (how’s that for accidental alliteration?).
  4. Pour the hot brine over the sliced watermelon radish leaving a couple of centimetre’s space at the top, carefully applying the lid and smoothing out any air bubbles so that a tight seal is formed.
  5. Store the pickled watermelon radish in the fridge and let them sit for at least 48 hours and up to a month.

It’s another bright and sunny day in Vancouver and frankly speaking, I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a precipice looking down into 6 months of rain and scatterings of damp snow. I’m hanging on by listening to the sunniest music I can get my hands on (and, I’ll admit, maybe secretly playing my autumn favourites ahead of time). If you feel like upping the dreaminess of making homemade pickles out of watermelon radishes then I’d highly suggest creating kitchen ambience with this sunny little album. It’s an effortless listen, pairing well in the mornings with a cup of tea or with a cold Ting and whatever-you-fancy cocktail later in the day.

Vince Guaraldi & Bola Sete – Y Sus Amigos (full album)

 

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables and a Creamy Greek Yogurt and Orange Dressing

White dish full of quinoa and roasted vegetable salad beside a glass container containing creamy orange salad dressing.

This recipe┬áis a testament to the infinite usefulness of leftovers; cold cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner form the framework for this hearty grain salad. I can’t think of a single vegetable that wouldn’t be a delicious addition, and for this particular version I used red onions, sweet peppers, fennel, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms that had been roasted for 45 minutes at 375 degrees the previous evening (a massive plate of roasted vegetables on a rainy Friday night is my idea of heaven). The black sesame seeds and hemp hearts add a nutty flavour and extra texture, both could be substituted with other seeds or nuts or even omitted entirely. There’s something about the taste of fresh citrus on grain salads that I love, especially during December when all of the lovely oranges are beginning to appear at produce stands in Vancouver. I used a Cara Cara orange for this salad because I love their bitter and only slightly sweet flavour but any type would work well, including my two other favourites, clementines and blood oranges. Serve this salad at room temperature either as is, or with avocado and orange slices gently stirred in on a bed of mixed baby greens. This quinoa salad will keep in the fridge for several days and therefore makes a great portable lunch or reliable dinner at the end of a long day.

quinoa salad with roasted vegetables:

2 cups of cooked quinoa

About 2 generous cups worth of cold, leftover roasted vegetables

1 leek, the white part only cut into very thin half moons

1/2-3/4 cup of Italian parsley, finely shredded

1/4 cup of dried cranberries or cherries, minced

2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. hemp hearts

creamy greek yogurt and orange salad dressing:

Juice and zest of 1 orange

2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. kosher salt

Generous pinch of freshly cracked pepper

  1. In a large salad bowl combine the quinoa, roasted vegetables, chopped leek, parsley, dried fruit, sesame seeds, and hemp hearts.
  2. Shake all of the salad dressing ingredients together in a glass jar and pour over the quinoa and roasted vegetable mixture stirring gently to cover.
  3. Allow the salad to sit for at least 15 minutes, serving at room temperature as is, garnished with orange and avocado slices, or on a large bed of mixed greens.

Hexagonal dish of quinoa salad with Christmas lights off to the side.

Of course I’m listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, good grief.

Skating – Vince Guaraldi Trio