Black Radish Relish Recipe

Two friends joined Dana and I for dinner at Parts and Labour in Toronto a few months ago.  We were spoiled as Chefs Matty Matheson and Matthew DeMille sat us in the kitchen and encouraged us to eat a large percentage of the menu.  We didn`t come close to completing a tour of their offerings (this would be impossible with 4 people) but certainly sampled a marathon of taste and were impressed at every turn in the menu (I can still remember 90% of what I ate that evening).

One of the dishes included a `black radish relish.`  It was a small portion of condiment that I all but skipped over.  I am not a chef and I`m not at their skill level – but I`m very comfortable making preserves and confident that my experience provides jars of food as flavorful as most can make.

Black Radish Relish Recipe Radish Preserving Recipes Black Raddish

We had finished the entire plate, minus the relish.  I swept my fork through it, not really paying attention to it.  I put it in my mouth without paying it much attention – until the flavor hit.  It was sweet and sour and tangy and earthy and awesome.  It was the best preserve I ate last year.  It`s different from a traditional relish – it can easily be eaten on it`s own and it`s complimentary to mild tastes such as fish.  I have some secret plans for this relish (that I will share if they work) but we`re going to let the flavors come together in the vinegar for 3-6 months first.

This is not their recipe – nor an attempt to duplicate what they did.  It is a tribute to that evening and one of the best restaurants in this country.

Black Radish Relish

1 pound radishes (we used 3.5 pounds and multiplied the rest of the ingredients by this factor)
1/2 pound celery stalks (we used a full head of celery)
1 cup sweet onions
2 hot red peppers (we used 4 dehydrated ones)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
Vinegar to cover


  1. Chunk the radishes into relish-sized chunks.  Here`s a trick on how to use a food processor to get awesome results.
  2. Chop celery and onion coarsely.  I used a knife and some of the pieces are irregular in size (i.e. chunky) – because I plan to use this in meals (like fish), I opted for this texture rather than a consistently fine grate (like the radishes) that one would want on a sandwich spread.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover with vinegar and let stand at least 3 hours.  I waited 24 hours.
  4. Find the dried peppers, remove from pot (they will be soft), chop them fine and return to pot.
  5. Bring to boil. Cook 10 minutes at a steady roll.
  6. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal  – process for 10 minutes if using pints (we went 25 with quarts to be safe).

We ended up with 5 liters (5 quarts).

When I was a child I collected comic books.  There was a trend to tell an entire story without any text at one point – I`m really enjoying the same here lately.  A picture of the final results follows at the very bottom here:

Black Radish Relish Recipe Radish Preserving Recipes Black Raddish


  1. Alexandra says:

    Hmmmm. You used black radishes, but *peeled* them. This will be much milder than if you had left the peel on, yes?

    • I really wanted to experiemtn and leae the peels on – all I’ve read is that back radish skin goes tough when cooked. Not sure if the vinegar would help greak that down but was worth a try… :)

  2. Black radishes are new to me. I’ve not had them before, but am attempting to grow them this year. Did you peel them because the skin is tough, or will the color leech and make the relish appear muddy? Just curious.

    • per below Tugs, I think the color would be fine – but have read the skin is tough when cooked. Not sure the vinegar would break it down although it would be pretty. will try in the future. :)

  3. Fascinating. I couldn’t figure out what to do with my CSA black radishes. Now I know. Thanks!

  4. it’s like playing ‘where’s waldo’ with my dog…he always has to be in on the shots somehow.

  5. I have never seen black radishes. I am also curious as to why you peeled them. I planted cherry belles this year and am going to use them for this but leave the skins on which will give me a lovely pink relish!

  6. I’ve never seen black radishes, ever! Now I’m curious where you even get them. I can’t recall ever seeing a seed packet for them, nor has my CSA ever grown them. I’m on the hunt now as I *really* want to make this!

  7. Valorie says:

    Black radishes are also a great help in detox juice! Juice small amounts in your vegetable juice for great flavor..

  8. I bought some at The Christmas Tree Shop last year. In the packets with ethnic veggies instead of boring American ones….
    …didn’t grow them all though. This will be handy if I get some to come up this year.

  9. The recipe says dill seed, but in the picture with the spices it looks like you used dill weed. Which is it, seed or weed?!

  10. Joel – got black radishes in my CSA last week – thinking about making your relish. Just wondered how it turned out, did you ever try with the skins on and would you make any changes. Thanks!

    • Hi Ardie!

      Thanks for the comment!

      It’s been a long time since I’ve made these and I don’t have good notes to look back on; but I do think I may have 1 jar left (I sometimes keep jars for up to 3 years to ‘see’ what will happen ;))….

      I’ll check this weekend and, if I do, I’ll open it and let you know.

      I do recall liking them though I didn’t try with skins on…yet. I haven’t run into many black radishes since…

      The batch that inspired this (at Toronto restaurant Parts and Labor) was one of the best preserves I ate in 2011. I remember my first taste; I almost avoided it thinking it was just another relish and it was just awesome.



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