Veggie Tales

Stock your pantry with Birchwood's pickled produce

We've watched with longing as other parts of the country have undergone a pickle renaissance–even as a Chicago native has moved his brining skills to Brooklyn.

Finally, there's relief for pickle envy, thanks to chef Jesse Williams of Birchwood Kitchen and her new line of brine.

Williams has long served house-made pickles with dishes like curry-braised duck, or alongside grilled Gruyère sandwiches, at the Wicker Park café. Now, she's upped her pickle ambition, jarring locally sourced vegetables with unexpected spices such as cumin, ginger and turmeric.

As with everything at Birchwood, the offerings change with the season. This month, you'll find 12-ounce Mason jars ($7.50) of dill-pickled green and white wax beans with chunks of garlic; cumin-pickled carrots; turmeric-spiced cauliflower; gingery beets; and classic giardiniera. Cranberries get a red-hot jolt from chile flakes and cinnamon, a spiced and briny update of a holiday standard.

Brussels sprouts and other hearty winter vegetables will hit the brine soon. But that doesn't mean summer has completely left the Kitchen: Swing by soon to pick up one of the remaining jars of pickled green tomatoes.

Birchwood Kitchen, 2211 W. North Ave.; 773-276-2100 or birchwoodkitchen.com