Yesterday, in my perusings of the internet, I came across a kitchen habit that I haven’t quit thinking about. It appeared in Healthyish as part of an interview with Linda Granebring, a Swedish chef currently living and working in Paris. Her cooking is vegetable-forward and feels particularly modern, but it was a certain habit of hers that caught my eye. When asked how she handles leftover vegetables, produce with one foot out the door, she had this to say:
“I like having a simple pickle liquid (one part vinegar, two parts sugar, three parts water, boiled and cooled) in the fridge. It keeps forever and comes in handy if you have leftover cooked vegetables. Put them in a jar, pour the liquid on top and leave them for a couple of days. You can pickle almost anything, even cooked potatoes!”
With this simple, almost obvious, advice, Granebring set me forth on a brainblast from which I have yet to return. It’s so easy, but so, dare I say, genius. Rather than let your vegetables shrivel away in the crisper drawer or lose their luster on your counter, why not just toss them in brine that will both preserve and better them.
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Take, for example, the bag of radishes currently languishing at the back of my fridge. I bought them a week ago for a salad, used only four, and have yet to think of a creative use for the rest. I’ve snacked on a few, but otherwise, they sit there, untouched, growing weaker and less tasty by the hour. Obviously, pickling them is a bright idea. It will stop their maturation in its tracks and in a week or two give me the tangy crunch I need, whenever I want it. Granebring’s trick, however, is novel for the way it makes pickling so momentarily accessible. With a jar of pickling liquid on hand, I can transform anything in the moment. I know what I’ll be doing tonight…
Here are some pickling recipes to get me you started.