For those of us who don’t live a block from a year-round farmers’ market (looking at you, San Francisco), fall and winter present a time when we kiss fresh produce goodbye. Which is exactly why we Americans have become somewhat obsessed with pickling things.
To preserve that summer bounty. To add a bite to your favorite sammy. Or, if you're like me, to just snack on it straight out of the jar.
And it’s not as hard as you might think. At Community Tavern, the celebrated neighborhood steakhouse joint in Chicago, chef Joey Beato has a simple hack: just remember the rule of three, two and one.
That is: three parts water, two parts vinegar and one part sugar.
It’s that simple, fellas.
Our advice: head to your local market and pick up some pickle-able produce — so, anything, basically — and get to preserving. Cucumbers work, of course. But try garlic, apples, peppers or even herbs like fennel.
Below, chef Beato offers a dead simple step-by-step recipe to pickling his favorite: the almighty ramp.
Simple Pickled Ramps
4 lbs ramps cleaned, whole
3 qts water
2 qts champagne vinegar
1 qt sugar
3 T salt
Bring the ingredients to a boil (aside from ramps). Put ramps in Mason jars. After liquid is done boiling, pour over ramps. Make sure ramps are completely submerged in the liquid. If necessary, use something to weigh them down into the liquid. Store at room temperature for 12 hours and then move to the refrigerator for up to three months.