Fill a clean 1-quart jar with blackberries and place in the refrigerator. With a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaf, ginger, and allspice. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and 2 cups water, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the crushed spices, thyme, and shallot. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain out the solids and discard. Chill the liquid for 1 hour. Pour the cooled brine over the berries. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.
From Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons, © 2015 by Steven Satterfield. Reproduced by permission of Harper Wave. All rights reserved.
"Vegetables are perishable, so we don't have any indication of what they looked like 500 years ago," says James Nienhuis, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.