top image by Sarah
A little more about that pickling session. Sarah and I lead the group in making pickled shallots, with a buffet of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Pickle-Spices: juniper berries, bay leaves, star anise, mustard seeds, peppercorns, on and on.
We call this a “Kitchen Sink Pickle” because you can throw in whatever vegetables you want. You could also add honey or sugar with you prefer your pickle with a punch of sweetness. This is a quick pickle, meaning you can make it before you start other dinner prep and it will be ready when you put everything on the table. It's enough time for the vinegar to take the raw hotness off the shallot.
We served this with duck confit and – this is the awesome thing about pickles – the addition cuts right through heavy, fatty dishes and brightens up the whole thing. I am a pickle convert. So I give you our recipe, as well as some ideas for different ways to dress up the final jars.
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water (plus more, if needed)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2-3 teaspoons of your preferred pickling spices
2-3 shallots, sliced thin
1. Combine cider vinegar with water, salt and spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Place shallots in a clean, dry glass jar just large enough to fit. Pour the brine over to cover completely. If there’s extra room at the top, add cold water to cover.
3. Cover with lid and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. The pickles will keep for about 10 days.