Pickled Strawberries, Round 2

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Of all the wisdom I have imparted in the past couple of years, my pickled strawberry recipe has been one of the most consistently popular posts. I recall being inspired to make these after visiting Garden at the Cellar, a particularly tasty farm-to-table restaurant helmed by Chef Will Gilson, where pickled strawberries were featured with one of the daily specials. The next day I basically swapped strawberries for cucumbers in a pickle recipe to see what might happen. And well, they were a tad strange. Certainly interesting and unique, but it was as if they too perfectly straddled the line of sweet and savory. I brought them to a few dinner parties and friends were excited to taste them, but would chew them thoughtfully, perhaps taking just one more to ensure that their flavors were a bit too odd to go back for a third. I still assert that they can make a nice accompaniment for a charcuterie platter or cheese plate, but only for the more adventuresome palate.

So with this year’s batch of fresh-picked strawberries I decided to tweak my own recipe, this time using my grandmother’s bread and butter pickles as a basis. I made two version, one more local than the other. Both turned out well – although the version with honey is a bit sweeter and more complex. These are certainly on the sweet side – the amount of added sweetener ensured that, although in the future if I started with sweeter strawberries I would cut it down even further. As it was, this season’s berries didn’t quite hold up to last season’s. So for all those looking for a pickled strawberry recipe, I ask you to give some feedback on this one. I think that if I were to make this again, I’d stick with honey as a sweetener and add maybe black peppercorns for bite or substitute balsamic vinegar in place of some of the white vinegar. Oh well… maybe next year.

Sweet Pickled Strawberries

*fills about a pint jar of strawberries

In a sauce pan, over medium heat: heat 1 cup vinegar, 3/4 – 1 cup sweetener (depending on sweetness of berries, sweetener used and personal taste) and 2 tablespoons of salt. Perhaps a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract. Heat until the sweetener and salt are dissolved and the liquid reaches a simmer.

Meanwhile, clean and de-stem enough small, ripe, blemish-free berries to fill a clean pint jar. Layer in a few clean and unbruised mint or basil leaves.

Pour the boiling liquid over the strawberries. Once at room temperature, store in the fridge. Let them sit 12 – 24 hours or more before serving.

Watch me pickling!

Press & Event Update for SMALL BATCH!

Exciting things are happening for SMALL BATCH: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food.  Check out last week’s press round up and details for the Pittsburgh, New York City, and Boston events!

Radio:

Author’s Corner reading – check your local NPR listings and listen here: https://www.authorscorner.org/

Eat Your Words interview on Heritage Radio – recorded on Sunday and archived here: http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/episodes/6988-Eat-Your-Words-Episode-204-Small-Batch-Foods

Upcoming events:

Pittsburgh: THURSDAY, Acquired Taste Reading Series 10/23 at Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh – readings, food, music & more!

details: https://www.facebook.com/events/388567687961217/

NYC: WEDNESDAY 11/5 at Jimmy’s No. 43 from 6 – 8pm – Baked, Bottled, & Brined: A Pop Up Food Market – food, drinks, meet the artisans and chat with the author!

details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1477060325894691/

Cambridge, MA: Saturday 11/15 at Atwood’s Tavern from 3 – 5pm – Food, drinks, reading – details to come!

 

Recent print & online press:

Pittsburgh City Paper: http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/suzanne-cope-connects-old-and-new-trends-in-food-in-new-book/Content?oid=1784088

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/life/food-column/2014/10/16/The-Food-Column-8/stories/201410160039

Wandering Educators: http://www.wanderingeducators.com/books-film/books/small-batch-pickles-cheese-chocolate-spirits-and-return-artisanal-food.html

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