For renowned West Cork chef Caitlin Ruth, pickling is an exploration of taste, a way to play around with a contrast of textures and, ultimately, a way to make a delicious ‘Funky’ dish.
Already lauded by food goddess Nigella Lawson, Caitlin Ruth’s new book ‘Funky’ – the first title in this year’s Blasta Book Series – delves into the many layered flavour profiles found in pickled foods, showing how this type of preserving is not just for jarring gluts but can elevate your favourite meals too.
From the frugal to the fancy, crunchy to the zingy, Caitlin shares how to make ‘Pickled Chard Stems’ or ‘Pickled Pumpkin Chunks’, a ‘Carrot & Chilli Escabeche’ with a kick or ‘Chow Chow’ for those end-of-season green tomatoes. And once you’ve mastered these brine-based recipes, you can take it up a notch with powerful pickle powders for dips and garnishes, even to rim a glass for cocktails, as well as some great fizzy ideas to turn your ginger bug starter into sparkling concoctions, including ‘Watermelon Ginger Fizz’ or a replenishing ‘Chamomile Fennel Soda’.
From 10-minute pickle projects and shortcuts for mass pickling to tips on how to keep the crunch and what you need to start your pickle pantry, ‘Funky’ shares inspiring and surprising ways to use fruit and vegetables for all flavour enthusiasts or glut busters to enjoy.
Caitlin Ruth has been working in restaurant kitchens since she was 12-years-old. Formerly head chef of Deasy’s Restaurant near Clonakilty, West Cork, she hails from Dublin, New Hampshire in the US and has called Ireland her home since 1992. Listed in McKennas’ 100 Best, awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and recently named a Munster Local Food Hero, she now has a food truck, Caitlin Ruth Food, that serves a menu driven by seasonal ingredients from West Cork’s local growers and producers, with a hefty sprinkling of pickles.
Funky is available to purchase from blastabooks.com or at bookshops.