I have made many fruits and vegetables into pickles, both fermented and quick-pickled. I have liked most (there was that inedible kim chee from a couple of summers ago, no one could have liked that), loved some, and repeated many. But this one – this one is almost unbelievable. It looks cool – all white; has a strong, almost Herculean, flavor; has a wonderful crunch; and is as easy to make as, well, quick pickles. Two words of warning, though. 1) Everything about making this will make your eyes water: boiling the vinegar brine, cutting the onions, cutting the horseradish. Be prepared. And 2) this is one of those things, like garlic and cigars, that either the whole company does or the whole company doesn’t. It’ll give you fire-breathing dragon breath. But it’s totally worth it.
Jicama, Horseradish, and White Onion Pickle
- 1 medium-sized whole fresh jicama
- 1 white onion
- fresh horseradish root
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar (unflavored)
- 1 1/2 Tbs pickling salt or 2 Tbs kosher salt
- 2 Tbs honey (or brown sugar or white sugar)
Put the vinegars, salt, and honey in a pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the jicama (take off the tough brown outer skin and the thinner pale skin) and cut. You can cut into bite-sized chunks, slices, or sticks. I like sticks, choose what you like. Put jicama pieces in a big non-reactive (glass or stoneware) bowl. Peel and cut the onion in half then half again then into thin slices. (A note about the onion – you can use yellow but it won’t have quite as ‘clean’ a flavor or look as nice – and the size is up to you. Use a large one if you like onion flavor a lot, use a small one if not.) Put the onion pieces in the bowl with the jicama. Peel the horseradish and cut. You can cut it into disk-like slices or half-moons or small chunks, depending on the width of your root. Mine was about half an inch around and I cut it into 1/8″ wide circles. (A note about the horseradish. Again, use as much or as little as you want. The flavor of this pickle is an amazing horseradish flavor but without all that killer heat so you need a goodish amount. I had about 6-8″ of root and I would suggest using no less than 4″ and no more than 10″. Or whatever – see what works for you.) Put the horseradish into the bowl with the vegetables. When the vinegar mix boils turn it off and pour it over the vegetables. Mix the vegetables and the vinegar thoroughly. There should be enough liquid to cover the vegetables. If there isn’t enough, make another half or quarter amount. Leave the vegetables and brine on the counter to cool. Cover (with plastic wrap, a plate, or a lid – don’t use anything metal) and refrigerate. The pickle will be ready to eat after one night and get even stronger over time. You can either keep in the bowl or put into jars or crocks and keep in the fridge. It will last for months, if you don’t eat it all up right away.