Nasturtium Berry Pickles
535g Nasturtium berries
600ml white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespns yellow mustard seed
A handful of fennel sprigs
- Thoroughly wash berries, separate them and remove any stems. Mix water & salt , cover berries in brine and leave in fridge for 24 hrs. Drain well BUT DO NOT RINSE !
- Pack berries and fennel fronds into warm sterile jars. Bring the vinegar and mustard seed to the boil in a saucepan and take off heat immediately.
- While vinegar still hot cover the berries and spoon in some mustard seeds for each jar. Leave about ½ cm headspace and put on lids tightly straight away.
- When the jars are cool put them in a dark pantry for at least a month to season and pickle. They will darken a little when they are ready. Keep when in the fridge, but sealed well and pickled they improve with age and should last a good 1-2 yrs.
For this method very clean jars are needed.
To do this wash jars well and put them in an oven for 20 mins on 100 degrees. Boil all the utensils and lids for 20 mins also. Make sure your jars and lids are in good condition with no chips or rust.
Don’t touch the lips of jars or sealing sections of lids.
If you have any doubts about any of the jars store them in fridge as soon as cool and eat them as soon as seasoned.
Nasturtium berries are found on the stalks of the plant under the leaf canopy. They come in pods of three. Pick them when they are nice and green. When they are pale or have slight reddish streaks they are too old and will be ‘woody’.
Wild fennel ( romanesco) is also rampant in N Z . While the base bulbs of these are pretty inedible, the fronds are great instead of dill in a pickle mix, or in salads or with fish.
Nasturtiums and fennel are found in public parks and hinterland EVERYWHERE but be careful to not pick where they have been sprayed or polluted.