Im staying at my sis’ countryside house for a month in this summer to have some precious family time and also relax and trying to re-think my life and the purpose of my work and passion etc etc…
So they live up in a small hill in a tiny village – in Kővágószőlős . The nature is pretty wild here, not much happening and i am enjoying my big walks in the early morning (when the temperature is not more than 26 degrees lol) and in the evenings when the heat drops down from 40 to 28…. :) hungarian summertime.
But cut my story short – very hot summer here right now and i am inspired by nature from the half-wild half cultivated garden. One of my favourite plant is yarrow and i adore the aromatic medicinal flower appearing in the summer. Our garden is covered so i thought to make some use of it. My sis liked it when i made a panna cotta (first recipe in my book coming soon :))) however also found it bit too strong. So i planned to pickle it and see the result… good potential for jams, compotes or simply using as a salad dressing giving a very complex floral touch to it.
I was out there collecting yarrow and realised many more tiny (wild and half wild) aromatic flowers appearing around… so started to collect them as well. Mint, majoram, thyme, wild thyme, sage, forest sage, lady’s bedstraw, chamomille etc etc and yarrow of course. LOL. Found some sheep’s sorrel flowers/seeds (great for texture and for digestion) and also the seed pod of the wild sorrel (oxalis) with an amazing sour power.
Make sure you save all the little bugs, ants you accidentally collected. I do eat edible insects but not accidentally but in a very planned way.
Make your pickling liqour – my basic recipe is 1:1:1, means same amount of water, vinegar and sugar. You can be playful here – u can use different vinegars (i prefer cider) and also can use dark sugar or white, maybe you can reduce the amount of water if you like stronger pickles. Also can add extra seasonings here – from basic mustard seeds to hogweeds, paprika, honey, alexander pepper, cinnemon, ginger and or anything really what you like.
In this case because i love the taste of these flowers i just made my liquid keeping it simple. Boiled it up in a pan and waited 15-25 minutes to cool down (we dont want to cook and burn the plants). Best when the liqour is medium warm – need less time to work. Done.
Put the flowers in a jar and pour over the pickling juice. Make sure it covers till the top. Place it in the fridge. Gonna be better and better with each every day.
I made a smoked risotto for me and my sis on that day – garnished with some salted crunchy mealworms and seasoned with the pickled flowers. Great because this acidic detail is able to cut though the richness of any kind of ‘heavy’ food – like our bowl of creamy risotto. Plus these tiny colorful plants are showing up their floral tones but not in a harsh way (while they still raw).
The power of the flowers. Enjoy.
Open up your mouth…!