Pickled strawberries sound like the marriage of two of my favorite things. I love strawberries and I love pickles. But together?
I never even thought to try this until I happened upon it while in a Pinterest hole one day. Other than stuffing them one-by-one down my gullet, what would I even do with these? Bon Appetit suggests using them as toppings on salads and sundaes, muddling them into rum and soda cocktails or adding them to gazpachos and salsas. Also, eating them on their own is pretty OK too.
Along with the usual jamming process, pickling is a great way to preserve your strawberries when you have too many on hand. Say you pick to many or you buy too many at the farmer’s market. If you find yourself with a bunch on hand, before they go bad, this is a super quick way to preserve them for a little longer.
We’re in full on strawberry season in the Northern Virginia area. I was extremely excited, but a bit overwhelmed, to find that virtually every produce stand at my farmer’s market in Manassas had oodles and oodles of fresh local strawberries. I had to just settle on one – pick a quart and go with it. I tried to pick the container with the reddest, the ripest, most fragrant and smaller berries. I find the smaller ones have the most tastiness. I have a bit of FOMO about strawberries … which is why the pick-your-own makes me feel a bit better. But don’t get me twisted! These in-season, local quarts are way better than what I could get at my grocery store a few months ago.
The sweet, tangy little berries add a little extra umph to pretty much anything you add them to. And, even after you use up the berries, the vinegar pickling liquid can be used for a vinaigrette or marinade.
Most pickled things like this call for sugar, but this can be substituted for agave nectar or honey … any natural sweetener of your choosing. Note, reserve the pickling liquid for adding to a vinaigrette or cocktail.
1 pound strawberries, hulled, larger ones halved
1 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2/3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Place the strawberries into a heat proof jar. Bring to a boil the water, vinegar, sugar and salt over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour over the strawberries in the jar. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate. Make five days in advance.