Pickled vegetables are healthy and crunchy treats, and when you make them yourself, they’ll have great savory flavor with a lot less sodium than packaged varieties.

Note that pickled foods are different from fermented foods, such as yogurt and kimchi. Pickling is soaking a food in a salty or acidic solution. Fermentation is the result of a reaction that occurs between a food’s own sugars and bacteria. Both are tasty and good for you.

Firm veggies like radishes, green beans and fennel work best, because they won’t get mushy in the pickling liquid. Even if you’ve never been a radish fan, this recipe will turn you into one. Try them over Mexican dishes like black beans and rice, or nibble on them right out of the jar for a quick snack.

Pickled Radishes With Orange Rind

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 2-inch strips orange rind
  • 1 pound radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Place vinegar, sugar, salt and cold water in a large saucepan. Mix well and add orange rind. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 30 seconds until the salt and sugar totally dissolve.

Turn off the heat and add the radishes and red onion to the liquid. Let stand until the vegetables reach room temperature.

Spoon veggies along with the liquid into air-tight containers, preferably glass jars with clamp tops or jam jars.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Yield: 4 cups

More information

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has more on pickling and fermenting foods.