This week’s pre-delivery CSA list had me prepped for more rhubarb—which was great, since I’d used up last week’s bundle making preserves Sunday.
When I pulled back the lid on Tuesday’s box, though, there were strawberries instead. Superb. Sunday’s jam session had also cleaned me out of extra berries, so the switcheroo was a welcome one.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this bonus box: pickleberries.
If that sounds like a short-lived Cap’n Crunch flavor to you, you’re likely not alone. A quick poll of my co-workers—folks whom I consider awfully food savvy—confirmed that pickling fruit is not exactly mainstream. Yet.
But let’s work on that.
These quick-pickled strawberries take just 15 minutes to throw together. And after a 12-hour cure, you’ll have a jar of sweet-tart-savory goodness to add zip to everything from salads to sodas.
- Toss the berries into a green salad (I especially like them with arugula). Their vinegar infusion means your dressing can be a simple drizzle of good olive oil.
- Smear crostini with fresh goat cheese or ricotta (or even mascarpone), then top with a pickled berry.
- Muddle a couple in a glass, add a slice of lemon, and top off with seltzer. Instant shrub!
- After the berries are gone, use the brine as a base for your next vinaigrette.
Adapted from Marisa McClellan‘s marvelous new book, Preserving by the Pint. My alts were for scale, plus I subbed in honey for sugar and thyme for tarragon. I love tarragon, but my 6-year-old plant was a winter casualty, and the new seedling I sunk last month just isn’t big enough to sustain cuttings yet.
- 1 pint strawberries, washed, destemmed, and halved
- 3/8 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp coarse-ground black pepper
- 2 springs thyme
In a small saucepan, whisk together everything except the berries and thyme sprigs. Bring to a full boil.
Meanwhile, load the thyme and then the berries into a clean pint jar.
Pour the hot brine over the berries. Fill the jar as full as you can so that all the berries are covered; if you need to top off with a little more water, that’s okay. Let everything cool completely, then cover and refrigerate.
Restrain yourself for 12-24 hours so that the brine can fully penetrate the berries. Enjoy within a month.