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In the Kitchen: Carqueja Cordial

Carqueja (Genista tridentata) is currently colouring all our hillsides a glorious yellow. It’s a relative of the spinier gorse which those from northern Europe are probably more familiar with.

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As well as making great goat fodder, the flowers can be collected and dried to make a fabulous tea. My neighbours have told me it’s good for the heart and for treating colds, but I just drink it because it’s tasty!

We really enjoy elderflower cordial (see the recipe I use here), so adapting that recipe to make use of something else we have ample access to seemed a worthwhile experiment. Carqueja cordial has proven another family favourite.

Start with at least a litre volume of flowers. They’re pretty tedious to pick, but it’s something that I can whilst I’m walking the goats. Cover your flowers with boiling water, plus a little extra. Not too much or you’ll dilute the taste too much. Add the juice and zest of a couple of lemons. I’ve been adding two lemons to approximately every 4 litres of liquid, but use as many as your tastebuds tell you to. You could also experiment with using oranges. Allow the whole lot to stand until the next day and then strain through a fine cloth.

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Measure the remaining liquid, return to the pan, and add 700g of sugar per litre. Warm the liquid to dissolve the sugar fully. Finally, bottle and enjoy! I generally bottle hot cordials into hot bottles and leave upside down to cool. Like this they keep for ages.

To serve, dilute with cold water as you would a squash.

Next up is a mildly alcoholic dandelion fizz. Watch this space!

 

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