It is a known fact that if an item on a restaurant menu mentions pickles, I will order it, end of story. I just can't get enough of the sour, bright bite of good pickled vegetables and fruit, and while I have a sneaking suspicion that nearly everything tastes better with a side of pickles, there are a few foods that are always improved by tossing in a few pickles. Fellow pickle-addicts, come this way...
• 1 Sandwiches (in their many forms): Go beyond tucking a few dill pickle slices into your deli sandwich and add pickled red onions to a pulled pork sandwich, pickled carrots and radish to bánh mì, pickled turnips to a falafel pita sandwich, or pickled jalapeños to a taco. Whatever you do, bread + filling + pickle = awesome.
• 2 Soups: Sounds a little strange, but most soups taste much better with a little acid, and adding pickles fit the bill. I like putting a scoop of sauerkraut on lentil soup, pickled red onions in black bean soup, and kimchi on rice porridge.
• 3 Salads: It makes sense if you think about it: dressings and vinaigrettes are typically sour, so a few tart pickles will fit right in. For double pickle points, you can even use the pickle juice to make the dressing, as in the recipe for the slaw in the chicken sandwich above. (I've made it and it's out of sight.)
Recipe: Kale Salad with Quick-Pickled Watermelon Radish
• 4 Rice: If you've ever nibbled on a slice of pickled ginger after eating some sushi, you know that pickles and rice are meant for each other. Add quick-pickled carrots or cucumbers to an Asian-style rice bowl, pickled red onions on rice and beans, or make quick and flavorful kimchi fried rice.
• 5 Meat: Pickled fruit makes an especially interesting accompaniment to meat, adding acidity and a little sweetness. Try pickled grapes with roast chicken, or pickled peaches with pork shoulder.
Are you a pickle addict? What foods do you think taste better with pickles?
(Images: Gentl & Hyers/Bon Appetit; Emily Ho)