Pickled Perfection

How to pickle veggies like a pro!

Eat Good Food Group

Pickled Veggies

Pickled pearl onions, left, and pickled eggplant

In 1896, psychologist Edward Bradford Titchener popularized the notion of four basic tastes: sweet, bitter, salty and sour. The latter is often underrepresented in restaurants, but at Virtue Feed and Grain, the new American Tavern in Old Town Alexandria, Chef Ryan Wheeler has introduced some local pickled veggies—like pickled beet roots—to the menu, ensuring all four of Titchener’s tastes are accounted for.

Pickling vegetables is surprisingly simple if one is willing to wait. Follow Chef Wheeler’s simple recipe below, and seven days later you’ll be enjoying pickled perfection of your very own making.

Pickled Local Vegetables

Chef Ryan Wheeler, Virtue Feed and Grain

106 South Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314


2 tablespoons Kosher salt

4 1/2 cups water

Vegetables of choice:

green beans, carrots, cauliflower, onions, radish, pearl onions, eggplant


Combine salt and water in a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat. Let solution cool to room temperature.

Place your vegetable in a clean, dry container and cover with cooled brine solution.

Place any assortment of herbs and spices you would like in the container with the vegetables. You could use garlic, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf.

Make sure the vegetables are covered, using a small plate to place over the vegetables to ensure they are completely submerged.

Leave container out in a cool place to ferment for one week. After one week the vegetables should have a salty and sour taste.

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