Most Saturday mornings I roll out of bed and walk to the nearby Farmer’s Market. I’m always happy to see bearded Ben with his large bundles of collard greens that look like huge church fans; Amanda and Marie ready with hugs and offering jars of wildflowers, crispy pink radishes, bitter braising greens and other produce they have planted and harvested on their farm; among others. I like knowing who grows my vegetables. I was inspired to make my version of Japanese pickled vegetables with my market purchases.
1 pound carrots cut in matchsticks
1/2 pound radishes cut into matchsticks (or use daikon)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoons of salt
5 Tablespoons of rice vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)
(optional: dash of sesame oil and two dashes of sansho)
2 cups warm water (Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the vegetables)
Dissolve sugar and salt in warm water. Let cool. Add vinegar and optional ingredients. Place vegetables in a jar. Pour liquid over vegetables. Store pickles in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Left overnight the flavors will marry. Serve alone, add to a green salad or a sandwich. A friend recommended this quick spicy pickle: Thinly slice a seedless cucumber and place into a plastic bag. Add rice vinegar, sugar, salt, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes and water. Close the bag and squeeze gently for a few seconds. Let chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.