The Maine Windjammer Association
Maine Windjammer Association Newsletter
August 2013
 / VOLUME 12  / ISSUE 8  
Fresh from the Galley – Pickles!

credit: Captain Jen Martin
Home-grown and pickled Dilly Beans are a specialty aboard the schooner Mary Day.
In many countries, including India and Japan, every meal starts with some kind of pickle. Whether it be pickled ginger, mango, lime or prawn, people all over the world consume a portion of pickles every day. Research has shown that eating fermented foods, aka, pickles, has significant nutritional benefits – benefits that New Englanders enjoyed until pickling went out of fashion in the mid-20th century.

In New England 100 years ago, much of the garden’s bounty found its way into a Mason jar either through canning or pickling. At the end of the growing season, family members would gather around the stove while kids ran to the garden to harvest more goodies.

While the art of pickling seemed lost for a time, we’re happy to say it’s making its way back! Now it’s possible to find scrumptious pickles in specialty shops all over New England. Be it dilly beans, pickled beets, cabbage or that old standby, cucumbers, we’re happy to say that making pickles is much easier than most of us think.

Now, we’re bringing that art to you with the help of the award-winning chef, Aimee LePage, aboard the schooner Stephen Taber, whose homemade pickles make an appearance each week on the charcuterie boards.


Pickles are an essential part of any charcuterie board. I prefer sweet pickles, as they balance out the saltiness in a pate, salami, or rillette. I start with 1-2-3 pickles, a pickling base that we use at Rover’s in Seattle.

1-2-3 PICKLE

1 cup water
2 cups vinegar, choose white wine, rice wine, champagne or cider vinegar
3 cups sugar, or a combination of sweet, I sometimes substitute part honey or maple syrup
1T kosher salt
2-3 tsp aromatics of your choice, ideas to follow

Heat water and vinegar to a simmer, then add sugar and aromatics. Dissolve sugar completely. Cool slightly and pour over fresh vegetables or simmer vegetable directly in liquid. Pouring cool over fresh vegetables does not cook them at all, leaving a more crunchy texture and lighter pickle flavor. Pouring the pickling liquid hot over the vegetables tenderizes them and intensifies the pickle flavor.

1-2-3 pickle blend
2 ea fennel bulbs, core removed, then sliced thinly on mandoline
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ small onion, julienned (or 1 shallot)
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
5 peppercorns, crushed

If you want to serve fennel with the aromatics, place them directly in the pot with the pickling liquid. Otherwise, tie seeds, onion, bay, thyme, and peppercorns in a sachet. Simmer sachet first in the pickle liquid for 10-15 minutes, then pour it hot over the fennel. Cool the fennel in the liquid for at least an hour with the sachet. Strain fennel to serve, or store in pickling liquid for up to a week. Goes well with cured salmon.

   courtesy: Stephen Taber
   Atlantic Salmon is served with a side dish of pickled cucumbers.

1-2-3 pickle blend
1 ½ lbs cucumbers, sliced ¼ to 1/3 inch thick
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp dill seeds
1 bay leaf
1 thyme spring
5 peppercorns, crushed

If you want to serve cucumber with the aromatics, place them directly in the pot with the pickling liquid. Otherwise, tied seeds, bay, thyme and peppercorns in a sachet. Simmer sachet first in the pickle liquid for 10-15 minutes, then pour over cucumbers. Allow the cucumbers to cool in liquid for at least an hour. Strain cucumbers to serve or store in a pickling liquid for up to a week.


1-2-3 pickle blend
½ watermelon rind
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 ea star anise
1 orange peel, 2 inch slice, pith trimmed out
2 ea cloves

Add cinnamon, star anise, orange peel and clove to pickling liquid and bring to a simmer. In the meantime, peel watermelon rind, making sure to remove all of skin without removing all of the whitish green rind. Trim rind so that a small amount of pink flesh in intact. Cut rind into 1 inch by ½ inch pieces. Add the pieces to the pickling liquid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rind is translucent and resembles gummy bears. Remove from heat and cool in liquid. Strain to serve. Goes well with Moroccan spiced seared duck breasts.


• Peppers, such as Anaheim or other small, slightly spicy varieties
• Carrots, cut into thin discs, julienned or whole baby farm fresh
• Cauliflower, cut into florets
• Red Onions, use part of all red wine vinegar and a splash of balsamic for a brilliant purple color

Have success? We’d love to hear from you about your experience with pickles. Just send us an email or post on Facebook.

Discover more recipes from the award-winning galleys of Maine’s windjammers by visiting our website.

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