Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Power to the Pickle

Lately I’ve noticed that scores of urbanites with seemingly better things to do in their spare time are spending hours over boiling canners in crammed, apartment kitchens--all in the name of pickling. Ok, so maybe they’re not out there in droves, but this 30-year old Manhattanite is not above admitting that I’d rather pickle than party.

I'm downright obsessed with unusual pickles, and my hope for this blog is to cull as many offbeat recipes as possible. Sure, we all love the classics like bread-and-butters and dilled kirbies, but I want to find those quirky recipes that take a bloody mary to the next level or introduce finds, such as pickled sea beans (AKA glasswort) or Jean-Georges' wasabi-pickled cauliflower, to a dinner party.

For example, last summer I made Judy Rogers’ (of San Francisco’s Zuni Café) spiced Zante grapes, and at a fall harvest party, served them alongside ribbons of smoked duck breast from Blue Ribbon Bakery’s latest outpost. They were stupendous--at once tangy and sweet--and this summer, I’ve adapted the recipe to pickle the red campaign gooseberries and white currants that have been abundant in the NYC Greenmarkets.

I’ll be posting photos and commentary on this recipe and other pickle progress as often as possible (with a focus on seasonality and a distinction between refrigerator pickles and ones that require canning). I welcome you to do the same!

I wholly admit that this is a dorky endeavor, but secretly, you know your inner-pickler is dying to come unsealed.