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.