Top Chef Hugh Acheson is not in a pickle with his book

When I was in Atlanta, I dined at Top Chef Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South – I will confess that I had both lunch and dinner there that same day.  I loved the food, service and ambiance, but what I loved the most, was that I purchased two of Hugh’s books on the way out.


One of them, Pick A Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, and Fermented Snacks has given me so much enjoyment at home trying out some of Hugh’s recipes.  Now if you have read the reviews, a lot of criticism has been lobbied at the weird shape and design, and while I agree, if you can look past that, you will find some simple and easy pickling recipes inside.

One of my favorite recipes is for pickled summer vegetables, so I wanted to share it with you.

Step 1:  Start by slicing three yellow summer squash (approx. 8 cups), sprinkle with 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt, add to a colander, and cover with ice.  Let it sit for an hour, after which you will want to rinse it well.


Step 2: Into a medium size pot, add 2 tablespoons pickling salt, 1.25 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 2.5 cups vinegar and 1.5 cups water.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes.


Step 3: Slice a sweet white onion and red pepper, and add them with the squash into glass jars.  Hugh also suggests a jalapeno, but I tried that one and have not repeated it.  Pour the hot liquid into the jars, seal and cool for two hours.

Top Chef

Super easy. Great flavor. And there are lots of other great recipes in this book – I’d recommend you picking up a copy.

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