Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to host a backyard wedding. You know, a quaint, yet beautiful gathering, where children run barefoot on the grass, and friends and family mingle over generous slices of homemade layer cake.

A reception at home sets the scene for a simplified wedding, where a couple can do away with much of the frills that can (and often do) overtake a event of this nature. Instead it calls for buckets of wildflowers, blush pink raspberry-rhubarb punch, twinkling string lights for when the sun goes down and heaps and heaps of love.

This summer our homestead with be the setting for the wedding reception of a couple most nearest and dearest to us. (Psst, we threw them an engagement party last year.) Danny and I, along with the bride and groom, are thrilled to host this incredibly special event – in our backyard!

So, the big day is coming up in early August and preparations are well under way. Well, pickle-making, at least.

Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon | Simple Bites #recipe #pickles

At this rustic, backyard wedding, we’ll be serving a light seasonal lunch and that means there must be a spread of homemade pickles. I mean, it’s equally as important as a well-stocked bar and a dessert table that never runs out. Right?

In order for the preserves to be properly ‘pickled’, I’ve got to get them in jars by the end of this week. And so I have been slicing and dicing, salting and brining. There will be baby garlic dill pickles, spicy pickled asparagus, and green beans, too. There might be pickled baby beets, if they hurry up and grow, and pickled Quebec strawberries with my own tarragon and loads of cracked pepper.

Strawberry pickles are a new thing for me, but as I am following the lead of trusty Marisa, I know I’m on track. Today’s recipe for Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon is adapted from her book, Preserving by the Pint, a guide I highly recommend for putting up small batches of seasonal produce.

Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon | Simple Bites #recipe #pickles

Quebec berries are nearing their peak right now, and we’re never without a pint or two on hand at all times. We’ve had them in ice cream cake, fresh berry pie, honey-sweetened jam, and even grilled.

Now, we’ve got strawberries pickling in our refrigerator and boy, are they an exciting bite. I’ve always had a soft spot for the strawberry/balsamic/black pepper trio (like this salad) and these pickles are just one more way to enjoy that flavour combination.

So far I’ve been eating them straight from the jar, or smashed a bit onto avocado toast (delicious!), but they can be paired with cheese (try a creamy Brie) or added to a green salad (try a spicy arugula). Marisa recommends dropping one or two in sparkling water for an easy and refreshing summer sip.

If supplies last, pickled strawberries will be gracing the wedding buffet table in a month’s time. Just one more way to sweeten the joyous occasion.

Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon
5.0 from 2 reviews
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Recipe type: Pickles
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 1 liter
Tangy and sweet, these are delicate, extra special pickles that deserve a spot in the refrigerator door.
Ingredients
  • 1 L freshly picked strawberries, the smaller the better
  • 3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon organic cane sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
Instructions
  1. Wash the berries carefully, and remove the stems. If larger than one inch across, slice them in half or quarters.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with 1/3 cup of water, cane sugar, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
  3. Place the tarragon in a wide-mouth 1 liter jar and carefully tip in the berries.
  4. Pour the hot brine (the vinegar mixture) over the berries. Don't worry if it doesn't quite cover them as they will soften and shrink with time.
  5. Let the pickles cool on the countertop until they are room temperature. Then cover, and refrigerate.
  6. Leave strawberry pickles at least 24 hours before eating.
Notes
The original recipes calls for Champagne vinegar, so feel free to swap that in for the white balsamic.

Eat Seasonal

It’s July and seasonal produce is starting to peak for summer! Here is a host of ideas for using up local fruits and vegetables from our group of #EatSeasonal bloggers.

new July-Seasonal-Recipes

Pea and Arugula Pesto by Floating Kitchen

Creamy Grilled Corn Pasta by Completely Delicious

Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by The Lemon Bowl

Crispy Chicken & Cucumber Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette by Climbing Grier Mountain

Healthy Zucchini Muffins by Gimme Some Oven

Fresh Corn Salad by Bless this Mess

Apricot Glazed Chicken by Vintage Mixer

Spinach Pesto by Mountain Mama Cooks

Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing by Kitchen Confidante

Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck

Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberries by Well Plated

Poached Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon by Project Domestication

Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Flavor the Moments

How to Make Arugula Pesto by FoodieCrush

What are you making with strawberries on these warm summer days?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. So fun that you get to host a wedding! I bet it will be breathtaking!
    These pickled strawberries are totally blowing my mind. I would have NEVER thought to pickle strawberries, but that tangy-sweet goodness is totally my jam. Pinned!

  2. Yummy!! Such great ideas!! Love’em!!

  3. Strawberries (by the flat each week!) straight up and sometimes with ice cream chasers. I managed to wrangle a few litres out of my hubby’s clutches to make a couple of small batches of strawberry & “rhuberry” jam, too. Have fun with wedding prep!

  4. Oh I just love the intimacy and simplicity of backyard summer weddings. I’m sure it will be absolutely fabulous! Love this unique recipe, Aimee! Sounds so delicious with cheese and crackers!

  5. That is so fun and generous for you to host your friends wedding! I know you will be the perfect host and I’m sure the food and setting will be incredible. It will be a memorable day for all 🙂

  6. Your description sounds so similar to our wedding reception held at a local park, a backyard will be that much more intimate and special. And what a lovely place for them to relieve the memories.
    We’re feasting on fresh strawberries over here as well and I love the sound of these pickles!

  7. I just read in Good Wives (the follow-up to Little Women) about Meg’s simple wedding and reception in their home this afternoon. I love the point of not fussing over too many fine details and simply enjoying the beauty of the occasion and being with those who are dearest to you. Your backyard reception sounds magical and I can’t wait to see pictures of the special occasion! I know it will be a great blessing to your sister 🙂

    We don’t have as many strawberries right now, but blueberries and blackberries are coming in and we are making plans to go picking this week. With so many great ways to enjoy them, one of my favorite ways is just to simply enjoy them with fresh yogurt and homemade granola. This says summer to me.

    • Oh wow, I haven’t read that book in ages! It’s a good one. 🙂

      Sounds like you are a little bit ahead of us. Enjoy the berries!

  8. How exciting to host a backyard wedding – it sounds so charming and romantic!! I love imagining Victorian weddings, with lace and homey touches.

    I must admit that I have never tried pickled strawberries, but it makes complete sense! I would love to try this!

  9. Hosting a backyard wedding sounds so lovely! I absolutely love the sound of these pickled strawberries — the black pepper flavor is such a nice addition!

  10. This sounds fantastic. I’ve never thought about pickling strawberries before. What a great idea!

  11. Kelley Green says:

    Hi Aimee,

    This sounds gorgeous! How long would they last in the fridge, assuming my family doesn’t eat them all in a day? Anyway to heat can them without destroying the texture? I get a lot of strawberries all at once.

    Thanks,
    :)k

  12. Strawberries in Quebec! 🙂
    Since june 24th, i’m going in a strawberries field each wednesday!

    Since then, we’ve eat them with ice cream, with cream and chocolate chips (or chocolate candy), in a crockpot pudding with some blueberries and raspberries (from Coup de pouce), in a different kind of pie open style with Rhubarbe (Ricardo), in a yogourt and crumbles breakfast, in my cereal in the morning…. and i’m in fire!

    The best thing right now it’s in every drink : water, white beer (i’m not a fan… and we’ve got to much at home… yeah… a rickard box with… white beer… ), in a sangria when i don’t have some citrus style fruits and ….

    Good luck with the wedding. My (one day we’ll be married) boyfriend is from far behind Chateauguay… so a wedding on a land will be great! 🙂

    Thanks to Costco magasine (that i was going to throw in my blue box), i’ll be a fan of your blog!

  13. Amazing and delicious! Thanks for recipe!

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