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Pickling. Daikon Radish and Beets

Daikon is a versatile vegetable that can be grated raw in salads or cut into strips for dipping in sauces.  It also can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or pickled. We've made an awesome condiment by salting and fermenting as you would for sauerkraut. Daikon also is used in soups (little chunks in miso is great). Peeling the skin is optional, you can simply scrub it clean. 


Here's a recipe from 'Tsukemono: Japanese Pickling Recipes' a book available in the share barn from our lending library. 

1 lb Daikon
1/2 oz. salt
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns (I substitute black peppercorns)
1 pod dried chili pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
*Cut daikon into thin matchsticks (~1/6" thick).
*Put daikon in a bowl and cover well with the salt. Place a weight on it and let stand a couple hours 'til liquid rises.
*Rinse off salt briefly, pat dry. Place in a jar that you have a lid for.
*In a small saucepan, put sesame oil and peppercorns.  Slowly extract the aromas over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add chili pepper and soy, bring just to a boil. Turn off heat.
*Add liquid to daikon and shake to coat.
*Let marinate for at least 10 minutes, and dig in!

When we've got some small beets (and we do this year), we like to pickle them because you can fit many, whole into a quart jar.  We usually can a bunch of these, but here's a quick fridge version to share in the simple tastiness of them.

1 Qt worth of beets
1 onion, or a few shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
*optional 1 tsp caraway, cumin, peppercorns

*Steam or boil the beets until just tender.
*As those are cooking, add all but the onions into another little saucepan and heat to a moment before boiling.
*When the beets have cooked, drain them in a colander, run cold water over them 'til you can stand to touch them, and slip the skins right off.  They should give easily, and you can trim the ends to your liking at this point.
*Pack them into a quart jar, mixing the onions into the layers.  Then pour the brine over and refrigerate.  They'll last for weeks in the fridge, but you can begin eating them the next day.


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