Monday, May 11, 2009

In a pickle.

My love for pickles is famous, in certain circles. When I was growing up in Connecticut, we'd pile in the car for drives up to my aunt and uncle's house in Massachusetts. The best part of the drive (aside from the destination, of course) was our regular pit stop at Rein's Deli just south of Hartford, where the sandwiches are massive, and the pickles just keep coming.

My love for pickling is a more recent development, but is no less of an obsession. When spring rolls around, I find myself desperate to pickle everything in sight, the better to preserve the bounty of the season through the long, cold winter I know is coming. Well, that - and I just love the sweet, vinegary crunch of a good pickle.

For the last few weeks, the greenmarket vegetable most worth pickling has been that stinky harbinger of spring: ramps. I follow this recipe from Serious Eats for my ramp pickling, and it hasn't steered me wrong yet. The fennel and coriander lend the ramps an additional complexity, enhancing their essential garlic-tinged, meaty flavor.

Pickling is super-easy, too - I don't have the storage space to do actual canning, so I just store my jars in the fridge till I have the opportunity to use the goodies I've accumulated. (Need some ideas about what to do with your bounty? Check out this link.) They also make fabulous gifts, and a couple of the jars I have in the fridge right now are slated to make their way into some hot little hands in the next couple of weeks. Lucky ducks.

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