Tuesday, September 3, 2013

harvest 2013: pickled huckleberries

awhile back, we took a weekend day and escaped to the mountains with two of our friends, to go berry picking at some of our favorite secret spots in woods near my in-laws' house. Though we found tons of red huckleberries, blue hucks were pretty hard to find - and the ones we did find were on shrubs that otherwise looked like red huckleberry bushes (not the denser, shorter evergreen huckleberry, with its thicker, more leathery leaves).

Still, I got a few jars of pickled huckleberries out of our haul, and made alpine blackberry jam as well (post forthcoming). I used both of Christina's recipes from the now-defunct Nettletown blog (sad; I always wanted to eat there, but couldn't get the time during my doctoral studies), though I omitted the shallot (and the chiles, too, I think) from the first recipe, as I love the bright zingy flavor of pickled hucks just on their own and wanted to preserve it for winter dinners, to enjoy with goat cheese. I processed mine in a water bath for 10 minutes so I could put them up in the pantry and save for winter.

Above are red huckleberries with juniper and fennel. Below are red huckleberries (left) and blue huckleberries (right) with star anise and balsamic. In the middle? Some pickled asparagus I threw together, using Molly's recipe on about.com.


Abigail said...

Those look amazing. Wish I could be there to enjoy with you in the winter! And soon it will be cool enough to send you the chocolate I promised! Hucks, goat cheese, and spiced dark chocolate? Yes, please.

fleur_delicious said...

Next time I'm up, I'll scan for some late hucks and see if I can't pack you a small jar and send it, Abs! Unfortunately, I've found that the larger jars (esp the ones that have pickles and liquids in them - instead of a nice thick jam) are far more likely to end up broken after travelling through the post. Wouldn't it be fun to pick a night and open them together, on opposite sides of the country? =) Let me see what I can do!