The other night at our Living Better With Less group, we also talked about pickling as another method of vegetable preservation that doesn't rely on the freezer. It does rely on the refrigerator for storage though. If you are harvesting from your yard generally you'll find less supermarket trips ergo more fridge room anyway. The group did some taste test sampling of pickled daikon and there were mixed reactions.
This method is of Asian influence and after reading several recipes I used "Vietnamese Pickled Carrot and Daikon" (without the carrot as ours isn't ready yet). I cut the daikon using a mandolin to shred it finely and it is jarred with sugar, salt and vinegar with some Sichuan pepper in my version. These are stored in the fridge and are ready to eat in three days but last for about three weeks. This produces a very mild palatable pickle and takes a lot of the pungency from the daikon. It would be great with salads, added to rice paper wraps or alongside cold roast meats. I made two tall jars and I'm pretty confident these will be certainly gone in a few weeks.
The other method we taste tested was the natural ferment version. This is made in a very similar way to the pickled cucumbers and pickled beetroot. Once again I reached for my all time favourite book "Preserving" by Oded Schwartz. His version calls for beetroot and radish but again...timing, my beetroot is not in glut enough yet!
Be warned! During the first couple of days I kept trying to find what had died and was causing the foul smell in my kitchen, radish and cabbages too can be a bit like that. After a couple of days as the fermentation got under way it started to "burp" a garlicky smell in the kitchen. After a couple of weeks the crunchy, salty rounds are ready and the jars are lidded and the lids popped on and they are stored in the fridge. These will store for about 3-6 months and will be a great source of nutrient and something different to tempt our palettes in winter. They are much more pungent than the Asian pickled version and I like to snack on them on their own and they would be an interesting addition to a cheese board or ploughman's lunch.
If you are growing cucumbers and beetroot this summer I definitely urge you to check out the post links above. I could not stop myself eating the pickled beetroot and it didn't last long at all. I am looking forward to making some more again this year.