When I was a child I stayed as far away from pickled anything as I possibly could. Whenever we would go on a trip to my Grandmothers house or one of my Great Aunts they would almost certainly have a relish tray of vegetables they had pickled. Those little baby pickles, bread and butter pickles and beets. I really hated them all and would only eat them because my parents would make me. Now that I am older and have tried many different things I often wonder what was wrong with me. I love pickled everything now. Pickled herring and spicy pickled green beans and just about anything you can pickle I would eat.
This year I tried to pickle a few different things that my wife and I got over at the local farmers market. I made my first dill pickles this year using a recipe from Martin Picard's book Au Pied De Cochon. They might be the best tasting pickle I have ever had. I also made some spicy pickled green beans that were pretty good right away, but have really intensified in flavor as they have sat for a few months. I made some corn relish and tried pickled fennel which I was quite surprised with. Yesterday I pickled red onions using a recipe from Michael Symon's book Live to Cook. I really didn't know what to expect from pickled red onions but was amazed at how wonderful they taste. The onions were sharp and vinegary on the tongue to start but the pickling process took some of the bite out of the onion sort of making them more mild flavored. They were fantastic, I took some of them and used them as a topping for our tacos last night and loved that vinegary bite they added. Tonight I am going to be using the pickled fennel with some spinach and venison merguez. I will let you know how it turns out.