Come summer, thoughts turn to things pickled. But if you’d rather be sipping a Lime Rickey by the pool than brining vegetables, Rick’s Picks can help with the guilt.
This NYC-based company makes a line of very edible pickled vegetables that are perfect for eating now--and reliving the taste of summer the rest of the year. Rick Field started his pickling business after spending two years experimenting with family pickling recipes in his tiny Lower East Side Kitchen. It was a dramatic change in gears for Field, a former TV producer/director who turned out music and humor spots for VH1 and Comedy Central, and culture and technology segments for NOW with Bill Moyers.
With clever names like Slices of Life, Mean Beans, and Spears of Influence, Field’s pickles go beyond the same old, same old. Phat Beets with hits of rosemary, ginger, and lemon are just the topper for that round of baguette slathered with goat cheese. GT 1000s--green tomato pickles scented with curry--seem made for sharp cheeses like aged gouda or cheddar, and will take that cheeseburger-from-the-grill to new heights. Windy City Wasa Beans, which are green beans steeped in soy-wasabi brine, make a snappy snack, side, or salad topper.
Field also plays with the standard cucumber pickles, and they're anything but ordinary. Dried cherries add grace notes to Bee ‘n’ Beez, a bread-and-butter pickle that’s tarter than most, while cumin and lime liven up Spears of Influence, made with Kirby cukes. For purists, there are Kool Gherks, which have an old fashioned snap, and Slices of Life, a traditional sliced dill pickle. Field’s favorite? “Always the next pickle... in this case pickled asparagus called WhupAsp with a white-wine vinegar brine spiked with tangerine juice, white peppercorns, and serrano peppers...”
Rick’s Picks (jars retail between $10.99 and $12.99) can be found at area Whole Foods stores and at Dean & DeLuca (3276 M St., NW; 202-342-2500). You can order WhupAsp pickles in July--and other pickles anytime--at Rickspicksnyc.com.