Multi-colored Carrot and Green Radish Pickles

March 15, 2013(updated on August 30, 2021)
carrots and a green radish

The green one is the only radish, the rest are carrots.

Last week, I reported that I was feeling a little lackluster kitchen-wise and thoroughly tired of winter. Well, I’m happy to report that things are looking up and its all thanks to pickles. Quick pickled carrots and radishes, that is.


Recently, I was browsing the display of root vegetables at the Fair Food Farmstand, looking to see if there was anything that might tickle my canning fancy, when I spotted baskets of brightly colored carrots and vividly green radishes (I do believe they belong to the daikon family).

At $5 a pound, they were more expensive than my average pickle ingredients, but it had been so many months since I’d felt so immediately moved and energized by an ingredient that I was more than willing to pay up.


Once home with my pricey roots, I washed them well, sliced them thinly on a mandoline, and tossed them with a little sea salt and granulated sugar. This helps draw out some of the water and make room for the vinegar to take up residence. Then I let them sit for about an hour, until the slices looked damp and seemed quite pliable.

into the brine

After a quick rinse and a vigorous shake, into a simple brine they went. My hope was to mimic the pickles that are so often served as garnish at Vietnamese restaurants, so I stayed simple with unseasoned rice wine vinegar, honey, water, and just a touch of salt (I know I started by salting the pickles, but by the time the carrot and radish slices hit the brine, most of that salt has been rinsed away. And unsalted pickles taste flat).

three pints

The pickles only stayed on the stove long enough to just heat through. Then I funneled them into jars and let them sit on the counter until they were cool enough for the fridge. They are both brightly flavored and just so darn pretty (though the purple carrots did bleed their color once they were in the jar and so over time, all those multi-colored roots have turned a near-uniform red).

crunchy fridge pickles

I gave one jar of these pickles away and have eaten most of the second jar tossed into salads of baby arugula and made into little stacks with slivers of cheddar cheese. It’s been fuel for plugging away on a cookbook and dreaming of warmer days.


  • If you can’t find green daikon radish, you could easily use the more readily available white variety. If you can’t find that, sub in any radish that you can put your hands on. 
  • This is a refrigerator pickle because it tastes best that way. While you could process it in a water bath canner, the texture won’t be as good.

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Multi-colored Carrot and Green Radish Pickles

Servings: 3 pints


  • 1 pound multi-colored carrots
  • 1 pound green radish daikon or conventional red radishes will also work
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Wash carrots and radishes well and pat dry.
  • Using a mandoline, thinly slice the vegetables into rounds of uniform thickness.
  • Sprinkle slices with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Toss to combine and let sit in a cool place for one hour.
  • When the time is up, pour vegetable slices into a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine rice wine vinegar, water, honey, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the brine boils, add veg. Stir and cook just until the brine returns to a simmer.
  • Funnel pickles into prepared jars and apply lids. Let cool.
  • When pickles are at room temperature, place in the fridge. Let them sit for at least 24 hours before eating.

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27 thoughts on "Multi-colored Carrot and Green Radish Pickles"

  • The colors are so vibrant! They look beautiful in the jars. We’ve been eating lots of our purple, orange and white carrots from our garden. Delicious!

  • Gosh, those were so beautiful all chopped up together! And it sounds yummy. . . . might have to give it a go. I’ll have radishes of my own to work with in a couple of weeks! When I get back from traveling, I’m making a big batch of a Mexican carrot pickle I’m addicted to. So bright and orange on a cold day, and spicy enough to warm up with.

  • Meant to tell you: these were excellent julienned on top of chicken nachos. Added a much-needed breath of pickled air to my long week! Thanks again.

  • Beautiful!
    Is the long green one the only radish, and the other 4 carrots? I want to grow some of these colors 🙂

  • wow! Love the colors but I am not sure which is carrot and which is radish, can you show a pic w/them labeled for me (us) please? These sound wonderful, thank you, must give them a try.

  • Veggies canned in the usual way are so much prettier than the way I’m “canning” these days. My dehydrator is going full blast most of the time, and even though all the food looks different, colors are preserved and deepen for most things, but veggies become little wrinkled nuggets. I am able to store so much more in a jar this way, however. Two 1 lb. bags of sliced, dehydrated carrots fit into a pint jar. Soon I’ll begin to take bits of several jars to make whole meals in a jar. Hurricane season is not far away, you see. One of the most favorite things I’ve dehydrated is spaetzle! The next thing I’m trying is your quinoa coconut granola!

    1. I agree, the pickles are beautiful!
      And Barbara, I hear you about getting ready for hurricane season. I’ve been canning and dehydrating lots of different things, with still more to do.
      Do you honestly dehydrate homemade spaetzle?? Sorry, this is OT, but I’d love to know how you do that. My boys are crazy about the stuff.

  • The mere sight of this recipe set my tastebuds a-tingling! I’ve never seen such beautiful root vegetables. I doubt our local farmer’s market would have anything like this yet (it’s still hardcore winter where I live), but I am going to be making these as soon as possible. Oh yes. Thank you for sharing this!

    One question: how long can refrigerator pickles last in the fridge?

    1. They last indefinitely long, provided that that vegetables are fully submerged in the brine. I’ve eaten fridge pickles in the past that were at least 9 months old and they were just fine.

  • So pretty, and they look fantastic! I love the little pickled veggies I get at the local Vietnamese and Korean places. 😀

  • Wow, these look so exciting! I’ve never even seen a radish like that before–and we have a serious & excellent farmer’s market where such a thing should absolutely pop up. Must keep an eye out–and in the meantime, daikon might happen. 🙂

  • So pretty! I grabbed the last bunch of colorful root veggies from my CSA in the late fall and pickled them, as well. But your mandoline cuts put my chunky roots to shame. I will now rationalize the purchase of a mandoline.

  • I love the striations on that green diakon – so pretty!
    What type or brand of mandoline do you have? There’s no way my junky mandoline would give me such neat, thin slices.

  • Gorgeous. Wonderful. Way cool. Yes, can’t wait to prepare a batch of these and wow my family and friends. Thanks so much for a great article.

  • Those are gorgeous. I’ve wanted to try a recipe for those kind of pickles. I’d bet they’d be delicious on banh mi.

  • Only you could find inspiration after 5 long months of winter. These are so creative and colorful. I just sighed looking at the photos. Beautiful!

  • I love these jars of food and am trying to find a place to purchase some for a display in a new Farm to table restaurant. Can anyone suggest where I might purchase some or who would make them. I am looking for extra large jars. Thx, Linda

  • I want to make picked radishes to send to a friend.
    Once these are made, do they have to go in the fridge right away or could they stand to be mailed and put into the fridge upon arrival, say 4 days later?

  • I used some leftover grated purple carrots, chopped spring onions and chopped zucchini in a very simply pickling mix of water, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt, and left in the fridge for a day as I normally do. this is a more nordic way of pickling and it tastes great, it is very quick, you can do it for less than an hour if you realy want to. I add my home made pickled carrots and cabbage etc to home made coleslaw. I use a mix of pickled and not-pickled carrots, onions, cabbage (red and white) and peppers, with chopped fresh parsley, mayo, lemon juice, a bit of smashed garlic and a little olive oil plus wild rocket, for a delcious filling for wraps and so forth.