Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren



September 2013



In a Pickle at the Southern Chefs Potluck

Written by , Posted in Miscellaneous

The 25 Georgia chefs who participated in the fourth annual Southern Chefs Potluck at Serenbe had four rules to follow:

  1. Bring 1 side, 1 pickle and 1 dessert.
  2. Put them on the table.
  3. Sit down, eat and enjoy yourself as a guest.
  4. If you show up in your chef whites you will be shot.


A few of them violated the No. 4, but I let them off with the evil eye. How could I be mad when so many talented chefs came together at Serenbe to raise $78,000 for Wholesome Wave Georgia?

Everyone said it was our best year yet and I have to agree. Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia) brought dry fried pole beans; Kevin Gillespie (Gunshow) brought Jell-O parfait; Chris McDade (Kevin Rathbun’s Steak Bar) brought bacon pecan maple bars and Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene) brought a beautiful peach, Vidalia onion and bacon salad.

I contributed my green tomato and Vidalia onion pickles. Of all the pickle recipes in the world, this is my favorite because it’s the perfect marriage of tart and sweet. There’s a very fine balance between vinegar and sugar in a pickle recipe. And between the green of the tomatoes and the bright red of the cherry bomb peppers, they look gorgeous on a shelf.

Together with Joy, one of my evening cooks at the Farmhouse, I put up 36 quarts last year and was happy to share the harvest at this event.

Green tomato and Vidalia onion pickles
  • 3 cups thinly sliced green tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup cherry bomb peppers
  • 5-10 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2-3 sprigs fennel blossom or parsley
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in a large glass bowl and cover with a plate to submerge. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Then place in a plastic container and refrigerate. Good for 1 month.


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