For the past few years I have been following, with interest, the movement among world renowned chefs to embrace local flavours and foraging, and apply it to their cooking. Inspired by chef René Redzeni and his famous noma restaurant in Copenhagen, I began looking into the hidden food gems in our own backyard. One of the things that peaked my interest the most was his use of spruce tips.
Spruce tips are not something I would have ever thought of eating before, but I have been pleasantly surprised by their uniqueness. Heading out this spring, I picked enough tips to last for a year of experimenting. The first thing I decided to try was pickled spruce tips. These pickled tips take three months before they are ready so I do not know the result yet. Regardless, I am excited to start a new culinary journey!
PICKLED SPRUCE TIPS
Makes 1 500ml jar
- 2 cups fresh, young spruce tips
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- Rinse off your spruce tips. Try to use younger tips, picked before they begin to spread fully open
- Pack your 500ml jar with spruce tips, leaving 1/2 inch space from the top
- Heat the water, vinegar, and salt in a pot until dissolved and clear
- Fill the jar with the hot pickling liquid, leaving 1/2 inch space from the lid
- Seal the jars in a canner, takes about 12 minutes, then cool
- Press on the centre of each lid ― if it stays down, jar is sealed
- Allow the pickles to age for three months before using
Bonus points for using homemade apple cider vinegar!