Pickle It, More Than Just a Lil' Bit

By Jessica Yoon | Megan Swann

By

Jessica Yoon
Megan Swann
Pickled Apricot, Shiso Plum, Brined Sugar-Snap Peas, Armenian Cucumber-Horseradish Cream, and Tarragon
Pickled Apricot, Shiso Plum, Brined Sugar-Snap Peas, Armenian Cucumber-Horseradish Cream, and Tarragon

A pop of acid. When that’s all a dish is missing, it can be a real downer. At The Whales Wins, Marie Rutherford never lets you down. She goes far beyond a pop. Rutherford goes in for the punch. Audacious in its simplicity, fanatically flavorful, and kaleidoscopic in color, Rutherford’s pickle plate was the chilled-out hero of this past sweltering Seattle summer. “I hate the whole Portlandia “We can pickle that!” But I love sandwiches and anything deli-oriented, like those lovely crisp kosher half sours,” Rutherford says. “This plate is sweet, sour, refreshing, light, spicy, and you can sop up the juices with bread at the end. The horseradish with fruit reminds of that day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich.” Here’s how she balances sweet and sour, salty and bitter, cool and spicy and hits the guest right in the kisser.

Tarragon: The freshly picked herbs tie everything together under a piney, fragrant umbrella.
Armenian Cucumber: Thinly sliced and carefully folded, the barely green cucumbers soothe and balance the salty punch of the pickles. 
Horseradish Cream: Grated horseradish gets folded into aïoli and crème fraîche brings heat and kick to the cold dish.
Pickled Apricots: Sweet, sour, and super refreshing, Rutherford pickles slightly under-ripe apricots because they hold their shape better after brining. The vinegar locks in their practically incandescent hue of sunset orange. 
Brined Sugar Snap Peas: Pickled with arbol chiles, garlic, peppercorns, dill, and tarragon, these sugar snap peas are only lightly fermented and add an extra layer of umami. 
Shiro Plum: Fresh, yellow plums add a mild, crisp sweetness to each bite. 
Olive Oil: Fruity with notes of almond, green tomato, and cut grass, Rutherford’s As Pontis extra virgin olive oil finishes on the palate with a pleasant, lingering spiciness.  

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