A recipe for a quick pickled radish and cucumber salad with fresh herbs: a light side dish perfect for a heavier main course.
This recipe for fresh quick pickles happened on accident. We had just purchased a mandollin and were testing it out while doing two different recipe photo shoots. So this healthy salad recipe actually came about because I was trying to clean up the kitchen. This fresh side dish uses spring vegetables, cucumber, radish and watermelon radish paired with fresh dill and mint to make a quick pickled salad.
But don't think of this as "pickles" in the traditional pickle from cucumber for hamburgers pickle. This is a crisp, crunchy fresh produce salad that cuts through heavier main courses. Like this as a side with chicken tossed in a BBQ sauce? Awesome. This with curried chickepeas? I can vouch: also awesome. Anything where you're craving a lighter balance, this recipe is nice to have in your fridge, ready to go.
In case you're curious, and because a nice lady at the grocery asked me this question: watermelon radishes do not taste like watermelon. They are named because when they're cut open, they look like the green rind and pink inside of a traditional watermelon. I personally find them to be more mild and less peppery than traditional radishes (also used here). I'm using them for aesthetic reasons, but also because I think this salad benefits from a larger produce item in the mix of small rounds.
I also want to touch on the methodology for this recipe. I do not recommend making this unless you have a mandolin. It's a piece of equipment that you use to thinly slice items. Thin slices are essential for making this recipe crave worthy. If you're hand slicing with a knife, you're likely making these rounds too thick and the light quick pickle won't work. Or, if you are slicing them thinly enough by hand, you're going to get REAL tired of cutting REAL quick. And nothing tastes good when you're pissed off. I mentioned this in the curried chickpea recipe that also has a quick pickle side dish, but this is the mandolin we use and I highly recommend it. It's very sturdy and easy to use.
Quick Pickled Cucumber Radish Herb Salad
- 2 baby english cucumbers, about 1/2 cup thinly sliced
- 1 small watermelon radish, about 1/4 cup thinly sliced (stacked)
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh dill pieces
- 7-ish small leaves fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- sprinkle of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice cucumber and radishes.
- Place in a bowl and use your hands to fluff and separate rounds.
- Add white vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add fresh dill.
- Stir to combine and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
- Serve and top with fresh mint leaves.
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