My rat tail radishes are ready for the first harvest . I have a large bed of pickling cucumbers but they are not producing yet, since I put them down late in the season (see: construction easement around our house making my garden life challenging!) Using instruction from a basic fermenting bible, Wild Fermentation, with my own twist I put together a crock of my Rat Tails with pickling cukes from a local farm:
Pickles with Rat Tail Radish
- 3 to 4 pounds cucumbers (I used ~3 lbs of pickling cukes)
- Half pound Rat Tail Radish
- 3⁄8 cup (6 tablespoons) (In the book, there are very specific instructions on salt ratios)
- 3 to 4 heads fresh flowering dill
- 2 to 3 heads garlic, peeled (I used 4!)
- 1 handful fresh grape leaves
- 1 pinch black peppercorns
Here’s my process as edited from Wild Fermentation:
Rinse cucumbers, taking care to not bruise them, and making sure their blossoms are removed. Scrape off any remains at the blossom end. If you’re using cucumbers that aren’t fresh off the vine that day, soak them for a couple of hours in very cold water to freshen them. (If you are buying them at a store – soak. When I’m pickling from home, I harvest in the morning and get it in jars or crocks by afternoon). Dissolve sea salt in ½ gallon (2 liters) of water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved. Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it dill, garlic, fresh grape leaves, and a pinch of black peppercorns. Place cucumbers in the crock. Pour brine over the cucumbers,place the (clean) weight over them. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 tablespoon of salt to each cup of water. Cover the crock and store it in a cool place. Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days. Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock every day. Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.
Cucumbers, Rat Tail Radish and grape leaves washed and ready
Brine solution, stir until it is clear…This is a half gallon jug, not a quart
Bottom of the crock: Garlic, dill heads, grape leaves, peppercorn! Oh my!
Now the brine is clear, ready to use
Brine poured, jar weight in, ready to cover and wait!