Blackberries are in season and on sale!! I knew, at that moment in the grocery store, that something delicious was going to happen. I decided to break from desserts and sweet treats and try something slightly savory with my beautiful berries. I’m trying to eat a little healthier these days as the warmer weather is here, and the beach is calling. For me, this means incorporating a lot more salads into my meal plans. As I am quickly bored with lettuce, I’ve been looking for creative ways to make salads. I’ve always enjoyed cucumber and onion salads with a vinegar dressing, so I decided to zhoosh it up by making pickled blackberries and vinegar.
This is a straightforward recipe. It only takes a few minutes to mix it up. Still, it requires resting time, cooling time, and at least 2 days in the refrigerator for the flavors to fully develop. It’s so worth the wait! Along with salads, these flavorful blackberries are great served with salty meats and cheese & crackers. After the blackberries are gone, any leftover vinegar will stay fresh for a couple of months.
Begin by prepping your ingredients. I love using a fresh basil chiffonade. Chiffonade is a French culinary term for a simple knife technique that slices the basil in thin ribbons. The basil leaves are stacked on top of each other, tightly rolled, and then cut. Fresh sprigs of tarragon or thyme can also be used. Fresh is always best, but if it’s not an option, use a teaspoon of dried basil (tarragon or thyme). Measure out the red wine vinegar, water, sugar, and peppercorns. White wine vinegar or champagne vinegar can be substituted for red wine vinegar.
In a small saucepan, bring the red wine vinegar, basil, sugar, and peppercorns to a boil, so the sugar gets completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Strain the cooled mixture. Pour over the blackberries. Cover and let sit for another 30 minutes before placing it in the fridge.
The flavors need at least two days to fully develop. Then, the berries are ready to top your salads or garnish deli platters. Use the flavorful fruity-herby vinegar for salad dressings. Enjoy!
Pickled BlackberriesCourse: Sides, SaladsDifficulty: Easy
An easy refrigerator pickle brine gives sweet, slightly tart blackberries an herby, earthy undertone making them a great addition to salads. The blackberry infused vinegar is the perfect base for homemade tangy-sweet vinaigrette.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
3-4 leaves fresh basil – chiffonade
1/4 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 cups fresh blackberries
- Prep: Chiffonade the basil (see notes) and measure ingredients.
- Combine sugar, red wine vinegar, water, basil, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and let stand 25 minutes.
- Place blackberries in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer over blackberries; discard basil and peppercorns. Cover blackberry mixture, and cool completely for 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate the blackberry mixture for at least 2 days to fully develop flavors. Transfer Pickled Blackberries to a separate container. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks
- Fresh basil: To chiffonade basil stack the basil leaves one atop each other. Roll up the stacks into a tight cylinder – like a cigarette. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the roll. This technique also works for mint, sage, or arugula.
- Basil substitute: Sprigs of fresh tarragon or thyme can also be used
- Red Wine Vinegar: Substitute white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Use the pickled blackberries and vinegar in Cucumber and Pickled Blackberry Salad.