Pretty. Easy. Quick-Pickled Strawberries

I hate goodbyes. I prefer saying “see you next time,” because goodbye has such a definitive ring that it sends me straight into the doldrums. Particularly when I’m bidding farewell to things I love. Like strawberries. Sure, here in California we’ll likely still have them in season for another month or so, but the best? They’re on their last leg.

I know so because my primo strawberry stand at the farmer’s market declared this weekend’s pick as the last they’ll bring to market. And, if they’re not selling, there’s no point in buying because they’ve got the nicest berries in town. But I know myself and I’ll probably still get a craving. So, I’ve come up with this quick-pickle berry recipe as a way to indulge in berries even when they aren’t at their prime.

Throwing strawberries in a pickle livens them up and boosts their flavor. I know, you’re thinking it’s an odd idea. That’s because it is a bit strange, but you’ve had strawberries drizzled with good balsamic vinegar, haven’t you? (If not, just nod quietly then run off and try some now so you can appreciate the fabulousness of that pairing.)

Well, pickling strawberries in red wine vinegar has a similar result. The sweetness of the berry gets mellowed out and the result is berries with subtle floral flavors and a touch of vinegary zing. They shine in an appetizer with cheese (as pictured above), but they’ll work pretty much anywhere you’d use fresh strawberries.

Pretty Easy is a monthly feature showcasing doable yet interesting recipes. Even those who fear cooking often find success with these recipes.