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In the Kitchen: Broom Blossom Pickles

Pickles

 

The hillsides and road edges are vibrant yellow here at the moment with the blooms of the broom bushes (Cytisus scoparius – Scotch, or Common Broom).

The flowers have an interesting flavour, and I like to pickle a few jars for use on salads through out the year.

As with any wild food, don’t assume it’s safe to eat just because a random internet stranger tells you so. Broom does have a question mark over it, particularly in quantity or for those with high blood pressure or possibly pregnant, so please do your own research. I feel that a few flowers occasionally are unlikely to be a problem for the vast majority of us and these pickled flowers are something you’d be unlikely to consume huge quantities of.

 

 

For my rather delicious pickled broom blossoms I use only the unopened flowers. The opened flowers taste just as good but don’t stand up to being pickled as well so don’t give an attractive result.

Broom blossom

 

vinegar

I make up a vinegar to taste by diluting a little with water and adding salt, sugar, chilli, dried garlic flakes and black peppercorns. I make my own fruit scrap vinegar (learn how here), but any pale vinegar will do. ┬áPack a sterilised jar with flowers, heat the vinegar solution to boiling point, cover the flowers completely with the hot vinegar solution then put the lid on tightly and stand the jar on it’s lid until cool. Something kept in a solution containing vinegar, salt AND sugar should keep with no difficulties, but vacuum sealing is an extra failsafe if you are intending on storing. Good sense suggests that you should store sealed somewhere cool and dark, and in the fridge or similar cool spot once opened, ensuring that the flowers remain covered in liquid.

I included some other uses for broom in a previous post. Take a look here.

 

 

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