This dish was inspired by an entrée at Roy Choi's Los Angeles restaurant A-Frame.
200 gmcaster sugar200 mlrice wine vinegar3Lebanese cucumbers, quartered lengthways1 bunchradishes, trimmed and halved1 bunchbaby heirloom carrots, trimmed, large ones halved2nashi, cut into wedgesFor drizzling:extra-virgin olive oilTo serve:finely chopped chives and toasted sesame seedsBlue-cheese dip60 gmmild blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, coarsely crumbled1golden shallot, finely chopped½garlic clove, finely grated150 gmsour cream80 gmmayonnaise2 tbsptahiniJuiceof 1 lemonTo taste:splash of Tabasco
Stir sugar, rice wine vinegar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the simmer, then set aside to cool. Pour into a non-reactive container, add vegetables and nashi, cover with baking paper and a plate to keep submerged. Refrigerate to pickle (4-6 hours). Before serving, drain well, place in a bowl and drizzle with a little oil.
For blue-cheese dip, process ingredients in a food processor until smooth, season to taste, and serve scattered with chives and sesame seeds, with pickled vegetables for dipping.