(Yields 5 pints)
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
5 cups water
4 lbs. radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered depending on size
5 pods star anise
5 slivers fresh ginger
5 slices jalapeño
5 garlic cloves
4 cups white vinegar
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. coriander seeds
In a large container, dissolve one-half cup salt in water. Add radishes, cover, and refrigerate for eight hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
Divide radishes into five pint-size, sterilized jars. Add one star anise pod, one ginger slice, one garlic clove, and one jalapeño slice to each jar.
Combine remaining ingredients in a nonreactive pot over high heat and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Pour over radishes, leaving at least one-half inch at top. Process jars to seal.
■ Slice into a salad.
■ Serve with very rich charcuterie.
■ Slice and combine with carrots (raw or pickled), parsley, mint, and scallions for a great topper for roasted lamb.