Pickled strawberries. Sounds weird, I know. But trust me on this (and, full disclosure: I’m not generally a pickle person). These are wonderful, unexpected and delicious.
On the heels of a strawberry picking session last week that yielded a haul of 6.5 pounds of fresh local berries, I was researching fruit shrubs. (A shrub is a vinegar-based infusion that’s quite the thing in locavore cocktail circles. More on my strawberry shrub experiment to come.) I came across this recipe for pickled strawberries. Who knew?
I adapted the recipe a bit. The result? Delicious. Bright, tart, tangy, bracing, flavored with anise and black pepper. And they’re beautiful in a jar. These pickled strawberries are fantastic with a plate of cheeses and charcuterie, much as you’d use little cornichons and dried apricots as accompaniments.
If you have a pint of fresh berries on hand and need to use ’em up, give this a try!
quick pickled strawberries recipe
(makes 1 cup)
1 cup strawberries, washed and hulled (halved if large)
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely milled sea salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh tarragon or thyme
First, sterilize a clean jar and lid by pouring boiling water over them. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and let the jar cool. Add the strawberries, peppercorns and herb sprigs. In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt; bring to a strong simmer and stir just to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let the brine cool completely. Pour it into the jar so the berries are covered or nearly so. Let the pickled strawberries sit in the refrigerator for a day to develop flavors. Keep for up to 1 week.