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A Local Thanksgiving

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Marc Phillips, Phillips Farms  

Relish Plate of Homemade Pickles

THE CHEF:
Marc Meyer
(Five Points, Cookshop, and Hundred Acres)
“Pickled vegetables awaken the palate with their rich, concentrated flavor,” says Marc Meyer, whose family hails from Eastern Europe, where pickles are an essential part of any meal. The trinity for pickling is sugar, salt, and vinegar, “and it’s easy to pickle vegetables at home with just these three ingredients,” he says. In the fall, Meyer likes to pickle carrots, cauliflower, beets, and radishes.

THE FARMER:
Marc Phillips
(Phillips Farms) Milford, N.J.; 908-995-0022 or phillipsfarms.com
When Marc Phillips took over his family’s fourth-generation, 175-acre hay farm in 1987, he felt it was time for a change. As an effort to improve the business, Phillips began growing berries, lettuce, and asparagus. Luckily, he found that the heavy, stony high ground set above the Delaware River provided excellent conditions for fruit, while the light, sandy soil in the river bottom was well suited to vegetables. Now Phillips grows roughly 60 types of vegetables, including beets, carrots, cauliflower, and radishes; all are at their prime in late autumn.

THE RECIPE:
ROASTED-BEET PICKLES
10 to 12 small to medium beets
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups distilled white vinegar
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
3 whole dried red chiles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the beets in a shallow roasting pan; add water until the beets are half submerged. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a small knife. Peel the beets under cold running water, quarter them.

Combine the sugar, 2 cups water, vinegar, garlic, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour over the beets. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.

RADISH PICKLES
10 to 12 medium radishes, halved
2 tablespoons sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 rosemary branch
Toss radishes with salt in a bowl. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.

Add sugar, vinegar, and rosemary to a saucepan and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the radishes, rinse, and put in a preserving jar. Cover with vinegar and allow to cool. Refrigerate.

CAULIFLOWER AND CARROT PICKLES
2 cups sherry vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, cut on the bias

In a saucepan combine vinegar, sugar, and salt, and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetables and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.


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