Anyone who knows me knows I am an absolute, unabashed, crazed ginger fiend. I’m the one sitting at the sushi bar, who’s always nagging the chef for seconds — even thirds — of pickled ginger. Yup, I am that person.
Yet surprisingly, I’d never made my own pickled ginger.
And what a fool I’ve been, now that I know how embarrassingly easy and fast it is to make at home.
My impetus for making my own pickled ginger came about when I saw that it was a garnish for a dish of “Gingery Ground Beef with Peas Over Rice” that I intended to make.
When I scanned the ingredients list of various jarred pickled gingers sold online, I was aghast. Quite a few of them contained the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Why? Oh, why?! That was such an immediate turnoff, that I decided to make my own instead.
I’ve enjoyed even more the recipes inside, created by the former co-chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
So many recipes from other chefs come packed to the gills with flourishes and garnishes that are a project in and of themselves.
Tanis pares that all away in this book. As he rightly states: A meal doesn’t have to be complicated, complex or cumbersome. Sometimes all it takes is one splendid dish to satisfy.
This book is full of those kinds of dishes, the type you really want to make — and can make without tearing your hair out. Find everything from “Cornmeal Popovers” to “Potato Salad with Peppers and Olives” to “Quick Scallion Kimchee” to “Spanish Pork Skewers.”