Pickled Redbud Recipe…& Wild Food Book Launch & Tasting
Redbud blossoms, garlic mustard, violets, dandelion, field garlic, Japanese knotweed…these are a few of the wild edibles I’ll be foraging next week in preparation for the Friday 15th book launch of The Forager’s Feast with Chef Timothy Pakron (a.k.a. @mississippivegan).
We’ll both be giving brief presentations: mine will be on foraging as part of 21st century sustainable food systems. Then I’ll be signing books, and we’ll get to taste several hors d’oeuvre the chef will make with wild ingredients we foraged together. Local wine and beer will be available at the bar.
If you’re in New York City, I hope you’ll join me for this event. I am super excited about it!
Meanwhile, I mentioned redbud.
Redbud is the common name for shrubs or small trees in the Cercis genus. Here in NYC they are just starting to bloom (last week I was in Jerusalem, were they were already finishing up their blossom time). ID info is in The Forager’s Feast and Northeast Foraging, as well as here.
Cercis canadensis is the species found here in the Northeast, but other redbud species also have edible flowers. They are delicious raw, tasting something like a tangy green bean (redbuds are in the Fabaceae or legume plant family). They are also great pickled into a colorful garnish that you can scatter over salads and spreads.
Pickled Redbud Blossoms (Recipe from The Forager’s Feast)
The texture of these pickled redbud blossoms is best if you collect the flower buds before they have fully opened.
White wine vinegar
Kosher or other non-iodized salt
1. Rinse the flower clusters under cold water. Pinch off and discard the stems.
2. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of brine and stir to dissolve. Plan on an equal amount of brine by volume for the quantity of redbud buds that you have gathered. In other words, one cup of brine per cup of flowers.
3. Fill a clean jar with the redbud blossoms, then cover them with the brine. Make sure the jar is completely full, then simply screw on the lid to keep the blossoms submerged under the brine. Some brine will leak out when you do so: that’s okay. Place the jar on a small plate and leave at room temperature for three days, away from direct sunlight which could discolor the flowers.
4. Transfer the jar to the refrigerator or a cool cellar. Don’t expose pickled redbud blossoms to heat or their texture and color will diminish.
“Fantastic. Informative. Top-notch. Lovely time.” – NYC foraging tour participant
The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles is part field guide covering 50 plants, mushrooms, and seaweeds with a widespread distribution, and part cookbook for turning these wild edibles into delectable dishes.