Sweet Pickled Strawberries
If you're lucky enough to live in a climate where strawberries are in season at Christmas time, it'd be madness not to take advantage. My favourite festive foodie gift this year does just that.
While dessert pickles may seem strange, they're more versatile than you might think. Use these pickled strawberries to garnish avo on toast or add zing to a fresh green salad (and use the liquid in place of a vinaigrette). You can also include them on a cheese platter, serve them in a glass layered with bits of store bought vanilla pound cake and ice cream for an easy, flavourful dessert, or drop them into some sparkling water for a refreshing afternoon sip.
Sweet Pickled Strawberries with Vanilla and Thyme
Yield: enough to fill a 235ml jar.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 a vanilla bean or a drizzle of vanilla extract
4-6 whole peppercorns
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
A handful of fresh strawberries
1. Slice your strawberries in half (or leave them whole if they're very small) and place the berries in a jar with a cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and thyme.
2. In a small pot combine the water, vinegar, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and pour the hot liquid over the strawberries.
3. Pop on the lid and allow the strawberries to sit for 4-8 hours. Because this liquid isn't very salty these sweet pickled strawberries won't last as long as store bought pickles. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 5-7 days.