My favorite presentation thus far has been from The Thomas restaurant in Napa. The "California Crudité" features a mix of raw, pickled, blanched, and roasted veggies served with a black truffle baba ghanoush. The pickled green beans and carrots complement the spicy watermelon radish and crunchy jicama. Dipped in a black, nutty cream, the vegetable medley hits all five senses without being overwhelmingly heavy or rich. As an added bonus, the dish features another trending snack food: crisp kale chips garnish the rainbow-colored platter.
Like an intense red wine, many pickled vegetables require an acquired taste, and they aren't enjoyable for everyone's palate. But it seems as though many American diners have developed a love for the acidity of pickled vegetables and are eager to munch on more than just a pickled cucumber wedge alongside a burger. As long as "artisanal" and "house-made" are buzzwords in the food world, we expect to see pickles on the menu.