A little while ago I listened to an interview with Sander Katz about probiotic and fermented foods. Given that I am a champion consumer of yogurt, I am also a strong believer in its healing power as a cure for traveler's stomach ailments. (Side note: knock on wood we have not had a single episode of such thing in Algiers, which I'm amazed by. Though it's possible I got every possible virus and bacteria in two years in Syria.) Anyway, it's possible all my favorite foods - bread, coffee, yogurt, stinky cheese - are fermented foods.
And of course pickles. My favorite kinds of pickles are those made with really crunchy vegetables - carrots, turnips, radishes, and especially cauliflower. I really like to put pickled carrots into sandwiches, or just to nibble on before dinner. This recipe was inspired by one in Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet.
Quick Pickled Carrots and Turnips
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into batons
1/2 lb turnips, peeled and cut into batons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar (white vinegar can work too)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch grains of paradise or black peppercorns
1. Place carrots and turnips into glass jars. Place remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, shut off the heat, let the pan sit to cool for 4-5 minutes (it will still be warm). Pour the warm brine mixture over the carrots and turnips. Seal the jars. Let sit on the counter until cooled to room temperature, then store in the fridge.
2. Can be eaten after a few hours, but I find best at the 2-3 day mark. Keeps for a long time.