The New Wildcrafted Cuisine (Chelsea Green, 2016) by Pascal Baudar incorporates ingredients from the great outdoors into gourmet recipes that can easily be made in your own kitchen. Baudar uses the best that nature has to offer to bring unique and extraordinary flavors into every dish. The following excerpt is his recipe for pickled cattail shoots.
This is a very basic recipe to make four pint (500 milliliters) jars. You’ll need approximately 32 medium-sized cattail shoots. Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices.
Ingredients for Each Jar
• 8 medium-sized cattail shoots
• 1⁄4 California bay leaf (or 1⁄2 regular bay leaf)
• 2 small chili pods—they’re optional, but I like a little spicy kick (your choice of chili will determine how much kick you have—I usually use dried whole Japanese chili peppers)
• 1 teaspoon (6 grams) sea salt
• 3 cups (709 milliliters) apple cider vinegar (5 percent acidity)
• 2 cups (473 milliliters) sweet white wine or white elderberry wine (from Mexican elder)
1. Clean your cattail shoots thoroughly and keep the tenderest parts, usually the first 5 inches or so. Remove the outer layers if necessary.
2. Clean the jars thoroughly, then place the shoots and other ingredients in them. I keep the jars somewhat hot by standing them in a couple of inches of hot water. That’s because I’ve had a couple of (cold) jars crack when pouring the hot pickling solution in them.
3. Follow basic water bath canning methods. Bring the pickling solution to a boil and pour it slowly into the hot jars, leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with a clean spoon or knife. Your cattail shoots will have a tendency to oat; you will need to push them down when putting the lids on the jars.
4. Place in the refrigerator and enjoy after a couple of weeks. If you want to can them using the water bath method, process for 25 minutes in boiling water.
More from: The New Wildcrafted Cuisine• Basic Wild Cheese Recipe
• Candied Tree Leaves Recipe
• Duck Prosciutto with Wild Sages Recipe
These recipes are adapted from Pascal Baudar’s book The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir (Chelsea Green, 2016) and are reprinted with permission from the publisher.