I had my doubts about this recipe when I first made it, and reluctantly took it to the volunteers’ party, thinking it would be completely ignored. Surprisingly, it went over very well, and even I changed my mind. I now keep a container of these in the fridge all the time. You can vary the vegetables, according to season. It’s an endlessly adaptable recipe–serve as a pickle, a side, toss with grains or pasta, add to miso soup…

2 c red wine vinegar
2 T salt
2 t dried herb or a combination of dried herbs
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 c extra virgin olive oil
4 c water
8 – 10 c chopped (peeled if necessary) root or other vegetables
1/2 c pitted and chopped olives, optional
black pepper, to taste

1. In a Dutch oven or other large pot, combine the vinegar, salt, dried herb, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil, and water and bring to the boil. Add the chopped vegetables, bring back just to the boil, then remove pot from heat. Stir in the olives, if using, and black pepper.

2. Cover and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature in the pot. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. You can reuse the liquid for a new batch–measure and top off with additional vinegar, oil, and water to make 7 cups total. Bring to a boil before adding any new vegetables.