Have you seen these yet? The new Real Pickles small batch line is hitting the shelves of a few stores and our webstore this month. And if you see them, don’t blink! As the name suggests, we only made a small amount of each product, so they may be gone the next time you look.
This is the first year for our small batch line, and we’re so excited about it! For each of three products, we’ve teamed up with some of our local farmers to feature vegetables that we don’t often get to use but that ferment deliciously! Working in smaller batches gives us the flexibility to experiment and be more creative with different vegetables, flavors and techniques. Many of the vegetables in the small batch line are hand-sliced, which would be hard for us to do on a larger scale. It also allows us to test recipes that we may want to consider for our regular line – so be sure to let us know what you think!
For example, our Organic Hakurei Turnip with Dulse highlights a little-known but fantastic fresh-eating salad turnip – SO different from the turnip-wagon roots that are used in the Thanksgiving mash. Grown by many small farmers, including Kitchen Garden and Atlas Farm, they are both sweet and spicy and have a wonderful texture for salads or crudité. Paired with dulse (a wild sea vegetable) from Maine, local ginger from Old Friends Farm, and lightly fermented with unrefined sea salt, the turnips are transformed into a succulent mustardy-sweet mouthful that is reminiscent of chilly days on the New England seashore. These are great on a fresh appetizer plate with cheese, olives, cold cuts or oysters, and crispy crackers.
Plentiful fresh garden herbs decorate and enliven our Organic Shallot and Herb Kraut. Grown by Next Barn Over Farm, Old Friends Farm, and Picadilly Farm, the aromas of cilantro, parsley, and oregano were intoxicating as we chopped and mixed them with fresh cabbage. There’s so much greenery, you’ll find these seasonal herbs are central ingredients in this ferment rather than mere accents! Inspired by Argentine green chimichurri sauce, this kraut will bring back memories of your summer herb garden, even as the snow falls. A wonderful addition to breakfast plates, soups, salads, and alongside sausage or steak.
The Organic Spicy Carrot Escabeche features cauliflower from Kitchen Garden Farm. We love cauliflower (not just because of its distinct fractal properties), and Kitchen Garden grew some magnificent heads this year. Our crew quickly cut it down to size to ferment alongside sweet carrots, onion, garlic, chile pepper, and oregano. For this recipe, we were inspired by flavors from Latin American and Spanish acidic marinades for meat, fish, or vegetables – and are often seen nowadays as a classic taqueria mix. These traditional marinades originally derive from natural (lactic acid) fermentation, and we’re excited to bring the fermented flavors back to update this classic condiment.
The dish below is a bi-hemispheric take on the grain bowl. A traditional North American grain, Canadian wild rice, and a traditional South American grain, quinoa, come together as the base beneath gently wilted kale, earthy black beans, avocado, and a trio of condiments. Quick pickled red onion, lime zest and cayenne-flecked creme fraiche, and Real Pickles’ new Organic Spicy Carrot Escabeche meld beautifully with the nutty grains under a shower of cilantro. Thanks to Bill McKerchie for this delicious & nourishing comfort food recipe inspired by Latin American cuisine. Don’t be deterred by the length of this delicious recipe, it is well worth the multiple, easy steps. Enjoy!
with kale, black beans, avocado, and Spicy Carrot Escabeche
Serves 4-6, vegetarian, cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup wild rice
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 bunch kale, torn or coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2-15oz cans black beans
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon dulse (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 avocados, sliced
- 1 medium sized red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 lime, juiced, zest reserved for creme fraiche
- 8 ounces creme fraiche (or sour cream)
- cayenne pepper to taste
- sea salt
- leaves of 6-8 cilantro stems to garnish, finely chopped stems reserved for creme fraiche
- 1/2 jar Real Pickles Organic Spicy Carrot Escabeche
For the wild rice: Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil, add rice, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until grains are split like little hot dog buns and al dente.
For quinoa: Rinse the quinoa well. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook approximately 15 minutes.
For kale: Coarsely chop or tear kale and season with soy sauce and lemon juice, quickly sauté kale with 1 tbsp oil. Remove from heat when kale is uniformly wilted.
For black beans: In a small sauce pan, cook cilantro stems and garlic in 1 tbsp oil until soft. Add beans, their liquid, cocoa and dulse (or sea salt) and cook until thickened to a thin paste. Salt as needed.
For pickled red onion: Slice onion very thin. Toss the onion with a large pinch of salt, let sweat, then squeeze out liquid, rinse with water and squeeze again.
Repeat salt, squeeze, rinse.
Place onion in a small bowl and toss with juice of one lime. Let sit 20-30 min. Squeeze out excess liquid. Salt to taste.
For creme fraiche: Combine Creme Fraiche, lime zest, finely chopped cilantro stems. Add salt and cayenne to taste.
To Complete: In a bowl, place a scoop of quinoa and rice, season with salt. Top the grains with kale on 1/3, beans on 1/3. Make little mounds of pickled onion and escabeche. Top it all with avocado slices, a healthy drizzle of creme fraiche and finally cilantro.