Last year at New York City's annual International Pickle Day celebration, I tried a pickle I'd never encountered before: a lavender-brined asparagus spear from Brooklyn Brining Co., a small New York pickling company known for their unconventional flavor combinations and devotion to seasonality. I was hooked after a bite: they had the perfect blend of vinegar flavor, sharp spice, and a wonderful floral quality from the lavender. From there, it was just a few more bites until I fell for their fennel beet and chipotle carrot pickles; I love the idea of setting out all three with a spread of charcuterie and some good bread for a simple weekend lunch — or just eating them all in one sitting, straight out of the jar.
Brooklyn Brine Co. Lavender Asparagus Pickles, $12.95 at Williams-Sonoma.com