Pickled Summertime: All In Good Brine

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QUICK-PICKLED – “REFRIGERATOR FRUIT PICKLES”: No steaming water bath or hours spent in a hot kitchen laboring with knife work.

Quick pickling is fast and easy.

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Refreshing and unbelievably simple to do, summer fruit tastes delicious pickled this way.

Some suggestions …

*They make a tangy cocktails; use as a garnish or muddle with gin, fresh lime juice and simple syrup – serve on the rocks and garnish with mint. pickledstrawberriesCockCrop

*Use in an arugula or spinach salad topped with shaved Pecorino or baked disks of goat cheese coated with bread crumbs. pickledstrawberrrysalad

*Serve on a charcuterie platter with assorted cheeses and meats (such as prosciutto and salami).

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*For a sundae with sweet-sour surprise, spoon some over or under coconut ice cream or chocolate sorbet.

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*Pickled grapes are delicious served with pork or duck.

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*Serve atop crostini or crackers spread with a little soft garlic-herb cheese or goat cheese.

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Quick-Pickled Strawberries
Yield: one-quart jar
1 pound ripe but firm strawberries, hulled, halved if extremely large
1 1/2 cups white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1  tablespoon kosher salt
2/3 cup water
1. Place strawberries in a clean 1-quart heatproof jar. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt and water to boil in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour over strawberries. Cool; cover and refrigerate.
2. They are delicious for 5 days, but I like them best after 2 days. They aren’t harmful after 5 days, but they start to turn pale and can get squishy. Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

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Pickled Grapes
Yield: about 3 cups
2 3/4 cups seedless red and/or green grapes
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt (you may find that you want them saltier)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
Leaves from 1 (2-inch) rosemary sprig
Optional: pinch dried red chili flakes
1. Pack grapes into clean 1-quart heatproof jar. Pour vinegar and water into saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat; add salt, sugar, garlic rosemary and chili flakes (if using). Bring to simmer and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Simmer 1 minute. Pour over grapes, adding enough brine to cover grapes (transfer any rosemary or garlic to the grapes if they didn’t make it to the jar).
2. Cover tightly; shake to distribute seasonings. Uncover and cool. Cover again and refrigerate 5 days. Adapted from Wall Street Journal.

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