Cathy Barrow, author of the recently released “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry,” which details her recipes and techniques for year-round preserving, readily admits to having a soft spot for pickles. She finds them sexy (she really said so) because they are simultaneously spicy, hot, cool and flavorful. And, of course, pickling helps keep her crunching on local vegetables in her Washington, D.C. kitchen all year round.

We asked her about quickles, a new(ish) term in preserving circles, Barrow said, so named because they can take as little as 20 minutes of your time and minimal energy to make and comprise pretty much any vegetable you have on hand.

“Not only do quickles make the simplest meal zestier, they’re a great way to rescue bits of vegetables languishing in the refrigerator drawer,” she said.

Rather than hard and fast rules, think in terms of ratios when you quick-pickle, Barrow writes. It requires equal parts water and vinegar and equal parts sweet and salty additions. You simply fill a jar with vegetable chunks or slices of a similar size, heat the liquids just long enough to dissolve the sugar and salt, and pour the brine over the vegetables. The vinegar and salt work to macerate the vegetables into quickles while you finish making dinner.

Should you want to discuss pickles with Barrow in person, she will be sharing recipes from her book at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York next month. – CHRISTINE BURNS RUDALEVIGE


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