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.
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.
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|| |
- 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
- Wash the berries carefully, and remove the stems. If larger than one inch across, slice them in half or quarters.
- 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.
- Place the tarragon in a wide-mouth 1 liter jar and carefully tip in the berries.
- 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.
- Let the pickles cool on the countertop until they are room temperature. Then cover, and refrigerate.
- Leave strawberry pickles at least 24 hours before eating.
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.
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?