*update: I get a lot of search hits on this post. I’m wondering if anyone else tried them and how they turned out. I’d love to hear from anyone who makes these and what, if any, changes you tried.
I serve on the board of an incredible local non profit, Grow Pittsburgh. This weekend GP held their first member event at Braddock Farms, a local urban farm oasis situated in the shadow of the Edgar J. Thompson Steelworks. It is a truly wondrous place, as I discovered this weekend. For this event we, the board members, were tasked with providing finger food for the event. Guess what I wanted to make…pickles! I know, you are shocked, SHOCKED!
Reaching out to Farmer Marshal for a list of available produce for pickling, he sent a list that included green strawberries. Green strawberries?? Really?? Intrigued, I turned to teh googles. And you know what I found when I searched for recipes? Nothing. Nada, zip, zilcho, bupkiss. There is nary a recipe to be found. There are enough restaurant review blogs and online menus that make mention of pickled green strawberries for me to presume they are in fact edible. But no recipes. So I set out to create my own.
I retrieved a bag of dainty little strawberries from the Grow Pittsburgh offices and got to work.
After much reading of recipes and wandering around indecisively, I created a pickle of 1 part vinegar, 1 part sugar, 1/2 part water which I brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then set in the freezer to cool.
Into a large mason jar I added my flavorings:
Add stemmed strawberries to the jar and pour on cool brine.
I refrigerated them for 2 days and unveiled them at the event. Admittedly they are a little scary looking…
But man-oh-man are they delicious. I was skeptical. I’m sure you are too. Most people sampled one at my urging, though not without clear trepidation. Never fear! Despite their apparently sketchy look, these retain the soul of a strawberry. Its hard to explain the flavor; they taste like a strawberry without the sweetness, but also lack the bitter, almost starchy flavor and consistency of an unripe berry. The pickling softens them and sweetens them and gives them a lovely refreshing flavor. I provided crackers, and a selection of cream, blue, and feta cheese to accompany the pickles and they were a huge hit. Riley probably ate the most, not even bothering with the cheese, just stabbing them with a toothpick and greedily munching away!
The real problem here is probably finding green strawberries. You really need to either have a strawberry patch or go pay to pick your own suring the short strawberry season. In other words, try these, you’ll love them, but they will be a rare and special treat not an every day favorite.