If there is one food Jews love, it’s pickled stuff. And bagels, and rugelach, and kugel. Okay lots of things!
Fact: Jews love pickled things. Back in college, my roommate Orly made sure she always had the staples in our refrigerator: tube of cookie dough, rainbow frosting in a can, leftover Chinese food, and a huge jar of pickles. I thought this was normal. Though I also thought watching The OC religiously and keeping a keg in your kitchen for kicks was normal. If that says something about my college experience.
I used to have a cherry painting in my bedroom back when I moved to Austin. I remember the first time my Mom visited she saw it and said, “Well, at least there is one cherry in your bedroom!” I was slightly embarrassed (what does that even mean??!! Oh.) but more impressed than anything. Turns out I do have a similar sense of humor as my mom! Well played, Mom. Well played.
Aaaanyway. So when Whole Foods invited me to a cherry class featuring local jam connoisseurs Confituras, I was in! Especially once I heard pickled cherries was involved. Doesn’t that sound good?! They are good! We also made Cherry Pit Syrup and Cocktail Cherries but these tangy Pickled Rainier Cherries stood out to me. I could eat them by the handful! They are easy to do too. You can trim the cherry stems, or not. Pit them, or not. See, easy!
In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, a few springs of tarragon and 1 tablespoon of peppercorns to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer until the sugar and salt dissolve and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, load the cherries into a glass jar with 10-12 peppercorns and a few sprigs of tarragon. Pour the cooled brine over the cherries to cover, place on lid and refrigerate.
After a few days (I waited a week), your cherries are ready!! (!!!) Yay. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a year, if you don’t gobble them before then. Now, what to do with your cherries besides eat them by the handful? They are delicious paired with an epic cheese platter. Or do what I did, and top a piece of steak with your cherries and thank me later.
Helloooo Summer! If you’re wondering if I used some of the pickling liquid and olive oil to dress my salad, you bet your tuchas I did!
What would you do with your cherries?
- 1 pound (about 50) Rainier cherries, stems trimmed to ½ inch, pitting optional
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 1½ cups sugar (or less)
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 small bunch tarragon
- 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, divided (I used rainbow peppercorns)
- In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, salt, a few springs of tarragon and 1 tablespoon of peppercorns to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, simmer until the sugar and salt dissolve and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, load the cherries into a glass jar(s) with 10-12 peppercorns and a few sprigs of tarragon. Pour the cooled brine over the cherries to cover them, place the lid on and refrigerate.
- After a few days (I waited a week), your cherries are ready!! (!!!) Yay. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a year, if you don’t gobble them before then.
Recipe reprinted with permission of Whole Foods.