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Sweet-and-Sour Pickles

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN plus overnight soaking
  • SERVINGS: makes 5 pints
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

This easy brine works with produce from any season, but the tanginess of the vinegar is especially nice with sweet fruits.

  1. 2 pounds seedless watermelon, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  2. 12 pearl onions
  3. 3 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cobs
  4. 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  5. 1/2 pound yellow wax beans
  6. 1 large Asian pear—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  7. 2 cups honeydew melon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  8. 4 cups water
  9. 2 cups sugar
  10. 1/4 cup kosher salt
  11. 2 cups rice vinegar
  12. 1 large star anise pod
  1. Trim the watermelon slices, removing the green rind and leaving 1/2 inch of the red flesh on 1/2 inch of the white rind. Cut these pieces into 3/4-inch dice and transfer them to a 1-pint jar.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the onions, peel them and add them to another 1-pint jar with the corn and the chile. Trim the beans to fit upright in another 1-pint jar. Pack the pear and honeydew into separate 1-pint jars.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, salt, vinegar and star anise, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then discard the star anise. Return the liquid to a boil and carefully pour it into the jars, filling them to the top. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to two weeks.