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Pickled Cocktail Cherries

“On average, cocktail olives will contain 50 milligrams sodium per olive, depending on brand. So this tangy combo of balsamic vinegar and tart fruit makes the perfect stand-in for your next cocktail hour or cheese board.”

Makes 1 16-ounce mason jar

1 orange

½ cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon peppercorns

½ teaspoon cloves

1 cinnamon stick

2 to 3 cups cherries, stemmed (fresh or frozen unsweetened)

1. Use a peeler to make ribbons of orange peel. Cut the orange in half and juice the halves into a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine water, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of the orange juice and stir to mix well. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool for 20 minutes.

3. Use a knife to cut a small X in the bottom of the cherries. Place the cherries and orange peel ribbons into a 2-cup heatproof container. Set aside.

4. When liquid is lukewarm to the touch, pour it into the container covering the cherries. Put the lid on and close tightly. Give the container a few shakes to mix up the pickling liquid, and put in the fridge to cool.

5. In 24 to 48 hours, the cherries will be ready. The longer they soak, the stronger the flavor. Eat within 2 weeks.

Recipe from Low-So Good by Jessica Goldman Foung (Chronicle Books)

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