If you are looking for a great way to use leftover strawberry tops, look no further than Pickled Strawberry Tops – AKA strawberry top relish, which is one of my favorite condiments. Think of it as pickled red onions, but with a hint of strawberry flavor in them. I use this salty-sweet and tangy dressing for almost anything savory – it goes well with avocado toast, on grain bowls, in tacos, with wraps, or even on top of grilled fish. Any way that I’ve used it, I’ve found myself dipping my spoon in for more. Plus, it’s a great way to stick to a low-waste household! No lost strawberries here.
This is a quick-pickle recipe, so you don’t have to worry about preservation rules and regulations. Think of this as just a fun at-home recipe you can use when you have a pile of strawberry tops lying around. And if someone ever asks you: what should I do with my leftover strawberry tops? Well, you can always share this link 😉
What does it mean to quickly pickle something?
A quick pickle is meant for flavor, whereas a standard pickling method is a means of preservation. The beautiful thing about a quick pickle is that they are usually ready in under an hour. A standard pickling process can take days and weeks, due to lacto-fermentation.
While pickling is also low risk, quick pickling is even lower risk. So my impatient, pickle-loving heart usually goes the quick pickle route. Just know that anything quickly pickled must be stored in your fridge.
What type of strawberry tops do I need for pickled strawberry tops?
I added this in a note in the recipe box, but this recipe really does best if there is still a bit of “meat” on the strawberry tops. Meaning: the tops were cut with enough strawberry still connected, that chopping them finely doesn’t mean you just have a bunch of green leaves.
I’ve found that pickling just the tippy tops of the strawberries can give a kind of bitter and bland flavor, and the texture isn’t as relish-y as I would hope. So look to use some strawberry tops that still have a bit of strawberry with them!
What else can I pickle alongside these pickled strawberry tops?
What’s nice about this recipe is if you don’t have enough strawberry tops to fill in the jar, the jar can still be filled with other vegetables and vegetable scraps! The hint of strawberry will still be there, and everything tastes a little bit better in a sweet pickle brine, doesn’t it? In this recipe I’ve been known to use the inside of cucumbers (the seeds, I mean!), or even more chopped strawberries. Here are a few ideas on what else to use to fill up your jar:
- More strawberries! If you have them, chop them just as fine and toss them in.
- Diced red onion – it adds a phenomenal kick.
- Cucumber – either just the seeds on the inside (you can scoop them out!) or dice the whole thing and add it in!
- Peaches – ohhhh these ones are so GOOD. Any stone fruit pairs well with this brine.
And that’s it for these Pickled Strawberry Tops!
And of course feel free to leave any questions, comments or reviews! This is the best place to reach me, and I’d love to hear from you!
Pickled Strawberry Tops
- 1 16 ounce mason jar
- 1 Small Pot
- 1 1/2 cup strawberry tops see notes
- 1 teaspoon coriander pods
- 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Finely chop the strawberry tops until no piece is bigger than a lentil. Add these to the mason jar.
- Add the coriander, aleppo, sugar, and salt to a small pot. Add the vinegar and water and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar and salt are both melted.
- Remove the brine from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes before pourint it over the strawberry tops. Let this get cool to the touch before sealing the top.
- It will take an hour for the strawberry tops to pickle, after that they are ready for use.
- They will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.