6.28.2010

Fresh- Pickled Vegetables, Sweet and Tangy Style

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For my birthday, a friend gave me Alice Waters's "The Art of Simple Food." The book looks all old-timey, with beautiful sketches. But also kind of intimidating. Sketches always scare me a bit. Well, after months of being scared, I told myself to man up, and look through it. I did, and it was great. The fresh-pickled vegetables recipe caught my eye, especially as I was plotting on yet another way to get rid of some turnips. Oh, the turnips.
One thing I noticed right away was how little salt this recipe called for. I didn't like that one bit, so I tripled the amount. There were a few ingredients on the list that surprised me, but that's why the recipe stood out in first place, so I went for it.
The verdict? These pickles reminded me of the Momofuku pickle jar we recently had on our NYC trip. They were tasty, but not necessarily the type of pickles I crave. I'm more of a dill and garlic kind of gal. And these were sweet and tangy. But the two jars were gone within a week, and I would definitely make these again. What I really liked is that these were ready to go in about three hours and you can vary this recipe with almost any vegetable. In addition to turnips, I used green beans and carrots. In short, Alice Waters did not disappoint.
Fresh-Pickled Vegetables
(The Art of Simple Food)

For 3 1/2 cups of pickling brine, combine and bring to a boil:

1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 3/4 cups water
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 bay leaf (I used a whole one)
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 dried cayenne pepper or a pinch of dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
1 garlic clove (I used like 5)
a big pinch of salt (this baffled me, so I used 3 tbsp)

Cook your vegetables in the brine. Cook each vegetable separately, until cooked through, but still crisp, and set aside to cool. Once the vegetables and brine are cooked, transfer both to jar, cover and and refrigerate.

These will keep in the fridge for a week.

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