We celebrated my mother’s birthday last week by going to an English tea in an English garden. It rocked. Good food, good company, gorgeous flowers, and fun little beaten off the path – well – paths.
But before we met up with my mother and cousin, we realized we had some time to kill in Hardwick. And when we drove by the co-op, Jedd and I simultaneously said, “Yep. Let’s go there.”
Inside we found stunning heirloom tomatoes, copious amounts of cool beans, Neat peaches, and finally, white currants. Note: I’d never seen them before, so I was taking my cue from the little card next to them that said, “white currants.”
Over the weekend I posted a photo of them to Instagram and asked if anyone had any ideas what to make with them. I got a ton of cool suggestions from people, including to pickle them and put them in a salad.
Well, well, well.
How cool an idea is that?
Normally I use regular black peppercorns in my brine, but as a random present Jedd bought us some Tellicherry peppercorns. They’re like regular black peppercorns but better somehow. A little more spicy, a little brighter and more pronounced, a little deeper, a little richer than regular peppercorns.
Which means that they’re the perfect ingredient for a brine.
I kept most of these on the stem because I thought they looked super pretty that way. However, keeping them on the stem makes them a little challenging to eat – but not horrifically so. It just means you get a little pickle brine on your hands, and I can live with that.
I don’t mind playing with my food.
I thought I’d play off of the pickled theme by serving these guys on a simple salad with very thinly sliced cucumbers. But they’ll play well with pretty much any salad you want to pair them with.
Pepper and Coriander Pickled Currants
Yields 1 cup.
1 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons tellicherry peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup white currants, on the stem or removed from the stem
Bring the water, sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, coriander, and mustard seeds to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
When the sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Place the currants in a nonreactive bowl, and pour the brine over them.
Let them soak in the brine for 30 minutes.
They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)