14.6.10

Pickled Dandelion Buds three ways - Recipes

Dandelion buds or the unopened flower buds are readily known as a wayside nibble. These bitter tasting and soft textured buds lend brilliantly to other flavours as well, especially vinegar! Pickled Dandelion buds are great to make as they are easy to collect and easy to make. However you can make it a little more complicated and choose the brining technique, this will take you into a more adult and familiar Caper flavour and one that I would completely recommend spending a little time on, even experimenting with flavours yourself!

Simple Pickled Dandelion Buds

Ingredients:

Cupful of Dandelion Buds
White Wine Vinegar
½ Teaspoon Maldon Salt
½ Teaspoon Sugar

The Dandelion buds need to be prepared, remove any stem and the little green leaves that hold the bud. Place them in a bowl and toss with the Sugar and the Salt making sure that they are all nicely coated. Now you’ll need a clean small glass jar (big enough to hold the cupful of Dandelion buds). Now spoon the Dandelion buds into the jar and top up with White Wine Vinegar. Leave for a few weeks and enjoy from there.


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Brined and Pickled Dandelion Buds

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Dandelion Buds
White wine vinegar
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Maldon Salt
2 Bay Leaves
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

These are the closest to actual Capers as the Brining adds the lovely saltiness to the Dandelion Buds that is so familiar and moreish with actual Capers. You need to make sure that the buds are not about to open as any open buds that are close to opening will open when the hot water is poured on them.

Brining - Bring the salt and a cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Put the Dandelion buds in a bowl and pour the boiling brine over them. Cover and let them soak at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Pickling – Now using a sieve drain the Dandelion buds and place in the clean jar, the jar that you are going to store them in. Meanwhile you need to heat your Vinegar. In a saucepan heat the White Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Bay and Thyme and bring to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the Dandelion buds and in the jar allow to cool (along with the additional flavourings as well). Cover the jar and place in the fridge. Leave them for a week or two and they will be delicious!

Italian Style Dandelion Buds

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Dandelion Buds
White wine vinegar
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Maldon Salt
2 Peels of Lemon Rind
1 Red Chilli
3 Small Sprigs Rosemary

This is a play on the Brined and Pickled Dandelion Buds, except this time with Italian flavours! Again you need to make sure that the buds are not opening. The brining and pickling methods are the same as above.

Brining – As before bring the salt and a cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Put the Dandelion buds in a bowl and pour the boiling brine over them. Cover and let them soak at room temperature for two to three days.

Pickling – Again using a sieve drain the Dandelion buds and place in the clean jar, the jar that you are going to store them in. Meanwhile you need to heat the Vinegar. Again in a saucepan heat the White Wine Vinegar and Sugar but this time with the Rosemary, Lemon Rind and the thinly sliced Chilli (seeds in!). Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the Dandelion buds making sure that all of the additional ingredients get into the jar and allow to cool. Cover the jar and place in the fridge. Again a week or two later these Italian inspired Dandelion buds will be stunning.

This simple and very common ingredient preserved for about 6 months, well the brined versions will! The basic recipe will keep for a couple of months!
Anyway, have fun making these and let me tell you.. When they are ready, think like an Italian. They will work beautifully with Tomatoes, Lamb or simply on their own!

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