1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon light honey
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 inches ginger, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
6 whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon red chile flakes
One pound vegetables of choice; think thinly sliced cucumbers, radishes and red onion, peeled carrots, and fennel cut on a long diagonal.
Make the brine. Combine rice vinegar, water, honey, salt and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt and honey. For a milder blend, omit the ginger from the boiling step. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prep the vegetables.
Wash and peel carrots, peel cucumbers if desired (peeling helps the flavor penetrate the veggies.) Thinly slice the red onion, cucumbers, fennel, radishes and any other vegetable that catches your fancy.
Layer the remaining spices in the bottom of a quart or 1 liter jar. Tightly pack the vegetables in the jar on top of the spices, then pour the brine mixture over them, making sure that all the vegetables are covered by the brine. (If you have some brine left over, it makes a great base for a salad dressing.)
Let the jars cool to room temperature, then seal the lid and place in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to meld for a day or two if possible before eating. These can be eaten in as little as an hour after making them, but they are at their flavorful best if allowed to marinate for 48 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Amber Turpin and Jessica Tunis live with their respective families in the green folds of the Santa Cruz Mountains. They share a love of food and writing, adventure and good company. Their collaborations on these pages are a natural extension of many good times spent together, gathered in kitchens and backyards near and far.