Sweet, sour and juicy, wherever you encounter them, pickled blueberries almost always feel like a surprise. That goes double for pizza, where most people aren’t used to seeing berries at all (you know, that whole fruit-on-pizza thing). But you can pickle almost anything, and when seeking inspiration for garnishes, few things say “summer” more than blueberries and pickling the season’s bounty. Pickled blueberries are an excellent pairing on cheese boards and have been celebrated for their use on sandwiches and pizza. (They’re a recurring pizza topping on the menu at well-regarded pizzeria Talula’s in Asbury Park, New Jersey.)
This easy-to-make garnish only requires a few minutes on the stove and a bit of forethought, but we find they’re best after 48 hours in the fridge, so you’ll want to plan ahead. We like them on our Pickled Blueberry and Camembert pizza, but their uses are practically infinite: They’re delicious as a salad topper, in a grilled cheese sandwich, served with smoked turkey, dropped into muffin batter, or for dressing vanilla ice cream for dessert.
This recipe is a part of our Garnish of the Month series.
Notes: We prefer Meyer lemon for its wonderful, complex fragrance, but you can use regular lemons or the peel of your favorite citrus. These pickled blueberries can be applied as a pre- or post-bake garnish. If you prefer a slightly firmer texture, apply them post-bake.
20 minutes active, 2 days inactive
1 quart of garnish
Mason jar or another airtight glass jar
¾ cup (200 grams) white vinegar
2 ½ teaspoons (15 grams) fine sea salt
⅕ cup (40 grams) granulated sugar
peel of one Meyer lemon
1 bunch thyme
1⅓ pounds (600 grams) blueberries
In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved.
Let cool, then add the Meyer lemon peel, thyme, and blueberries to the brine.
Refrigerate in an airtight glass or plastic container for 48 hours before using.
Stored in the refrigerator, the blueberries will last for two weeks.