Pickled Winter Vegetables

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These pickled winter vegetables are not your grandmother’s bread and butter pickles. They are tart and tangy, best eaten as part of a meal rather than straight out of the jar. Pickling is a great way to use up leftover winter vegetables to make room for the spring harvest.

Here I use carrots, onions, and watermelon radishes, but you can substitute anything from cauliflower to corn. Just be sure to cut the vegetables into small pieces so the hot pickling liquid can soften them. They need an hour to cool after you add the pickling liquid and 24 hours to “pickle.” The bright colors and intense flavor jazz up anything from Mediterranean falafel sandwiches, to platters of rich meats, cheeses, or pâtés.


pickled winter vegetables

  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 fluid ounces water
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) rice wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup watermelon radish or daikon radish, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ¾ cup carrot, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced


  1. Toast the spices in an 8-inch pot over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the spices become fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1 to 2 minutes.
    Add the sugar, salt, water, and vinegar to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Place the cut vegetables in a pint container and pour the hot liquid over them. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add vinegar until they are submerged.
  3. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, about an hour. Refrigerate in a tightly lidded container for 24 hours before serving. The pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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