Tag: pickle

How to pickle Ash Keys

Make a pickling vinegar by heating – in a Bain Marie – all your favourite spices with one spoon of soft brown sugar and a pinch of salt per cup of cider vinegar. Infuse for 5 minutes then leave to cool. Strain it before using it.

Ideas for spices include: peppercorns, ginger, cinnamon, chillies, cloves, bay leaf, coriander seed… Or use wild spices like hogweed seed, ground elder seed, wild leek seed… See my wild spice chart here.

Pick the ash keys when they are really, really young and green. As early as possible or they get stringy.

Put the ash keys into boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and change water. Simmer in new water for 5 minutes. Strain. Cool a little.

Pack the cooled keys into preserving jars leaving a 3 cm (an inch) of space at the top. Fill with your spiced vinegar right to the top.

Seal. Leave for 3 months. Eat!

Pickling and Preserving Green Walnuts Recipes

A selection of recipes for green walnuts.

Green walnuts

Pick your walnuts while they are still green

Pickled Walnuts

Pick only young green walnuts – usually around June. Remember that walnuts stain. Great for making homemade hair dye and self-tan, but will make your fingers look disgusting if you don’t wear gloves!

Prick your nuts. If you can feel a shell inside them, discard them. They must have an unformed shell.

Soak them in brine. (Brine is just salty water. To make brine add 100g of salt to every 1 litre of water).

Leave them in the brine for 10-12 days. After 3-5 days drain and refresh with fresh brine for the rest of the period.

Then drain them and dry them on a rack for 24 hours. They will go black.

Put your black walnuts in a jar, and cover with spiced pickling vinegar.

Marinate for a month or two – depending on the vinegar solution you used and the taste that you like. Presto! Pickled walnuts!

Flickr - cyclonebill - Valnøddesnaps

Walnuts soaking in brine

Pickled Walnut Ketchup

Now, if you want to really stretch this crop. Once you have pickled your walnuts and are ready to eat them, don’t throw away the vinegar. I have put a suggested foraged edible wild spice mix and also a kitchen equivalent.

Strain the vinegar off (eat the pickled nuts) and to each 1 litre of vinegar add:
1 tsp ground toasted hogweed seed (1 tsp. ground cardamon)
1 tsp wild dried fennel seed (1 tsp. ground fennel)
1 tsp dried alexanders seed (1 tsp. ground celery seed)
100g wild garlic or 15 bulbs of wild garlic (40g / 6 garlic cloves)
7 to 10 cm of horseradish root (hot)

Boil for 15-20 minutes to reduce the mixture. Strain. Bottle (in sterilised jars or bottles) and use instead of ketchup!

Spicy Green Walnut Pickle Pesto

Keep back some of your green walnut ketchup. Put handfuls of any of the following into a blender (adding to suit your taste):

Hairy bittercress (leaves and flowers)
Wild garlic leaves (leaves and flowers)
Three cornered leek (leaves and flowers)
Ground elder leaves
Pine nuts (gathered from pine or monkey puzzle trees of course)

Add green walnut ketchup a little at a time. Blend until you reach pesto consistency.

Green Walnut Grappa

Click and try this recipe for a great tasting liqueur.

Get pickled! A Ploughman’s Lunch is good for you.

Are you a lover of all things pickled? Pickled onions, peppers, gherkins, capers (or of course, nasturtium seeds)? Well you can easily justify your indulgence. You probably already know that apple cider vinegar has unique health benefits but it seems that even plain ol’ vinegar is also good for you.

A clinical study conducted on vinegar (acetic acid), found that adding vinegar to your meals reduces the increase in blood glucose and insulin after meals. It also increases the feeling of being full. The results, according to Ostman et al (2005), show there is an interesting potential for fermented and pickled products containing acetic acid to lower the glycaemic index (GI) of meals, helping to control glucose and insulin response and satiety. In other words, vinegar with meals helps to protect you against both diabetes and obesity.

Bring on the Ploughman’s Lunch next time you’re at the pub and be sure to eat your pickled onions. Be liberal with the vinaigrette on your salad. (And don’t scorn that gherkin in your Big Mac, children!)

Click for a recipe for pickled nasturtium seeds – home made capers for free!

Pickled Nasturtium Seeds

=======================================================================Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L and Björck I. (2005) Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59(9):983-8. PMID: 16015276