The answer is not simply, "Yes they should," but actually, "Oh my word, they must." Sweet/tangy is a tantalizing combination, and I can't get enough of it. From the first moment I experienced the salty-acidic pop of a pickled grape (courtesy of a restaurant in my neighborhood called the Tipsy Parson), I knew I was taking the first step on a journey toward discovering all kinds of weirdly delicious pickled fruit.
This past weekend, I took another step on that journey, courtesy of the fine folks behind No. 7 Sub and Saveur.com: Pickled. Effing. Blueberries. PICKLED BLUEBERRIES, PEOPLE. That is some summer right there!
For the blueberries (gently adapted from Saveur.com)
|2 pints blueberries|
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp dill or caraway seeds
|Put the blueberries and onion slices in the bottom of a clean quart container. In a small saucepan, quickly boil vinegar and water along with the spices, whisking until the sugar and salt completely dissolve. Pour the hot brine over the berries and onions, seal the jar, and allow to cool before putting it in the refrigerator. Chill for 24 hours before using. Keep in an airtight jar for up to a week.|
Okay, then what do you do with pickled blueberries? You can mash and spread them on a turkey-and-brie sandwich, you can use them as a garnish (someone, quick: come up with a gin-based cocktail for these little guys!), or you can do what I've been doing, which is mix them into all kinds of raw salads.
My favorite so far has been a quick and easy sweet corn melange, but I've also used thin strips of shaved zucchini as a base. The cheese is key: Buy a really quality hunk of creamy, salty feta to crumble into the bowl, as it really makes the sweet tang of the berries pop.
For the pickled blueberry–and-corn salad
|1/2 cup pickled blueberries |
1 tbs pickled-blueberry juice
kernels from 1 ear fresh corn
1 garlic clove, minced
1 oz crumbled feta cheese
salt / pepper / oregano to taste
|In a bowl, combine all ingredients well. Can be served immediately, but is best chilled for at least an hour to let all the flavors truly blend.|
Have you ever pickled fruit? I'm contemplating a batch of strawberries and star anise next...