Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pickled Huckleberries

It is near the end of huckleberry season and it is time to add something else to your huckleberry preservation repertoire other than jams and bulk freezing. Pickled huckleberries are sweet, tangy, richly flavored and a versatile condiment. Not only are these utterly delicious, it is very easy and fast to make. Some of the many possible uses -Toss berries in salads, purree berries and brine with olive oil for a viniagrette, add to a pan sauce with game meats, serve along side duck liver pate, or to top a smoked salmon and goat cheese crostini. Use the pickling brine like a flavored vinegar or add along with the berries to the dish.

In either of these recipes add to, or substitute part of, the huckleberries with sliced shallots for extra flavor and crunch. One pound huckleberries will fit in four 8-ounce jars or two pint jars.

Pickled huckleberries with star anise, coriander seeds and chilies

1 pound huckleberries (about 3 cups), washed
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups red wine vinegar
2/3 cups water
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
4 small star anise
2-4 spicy chilies, dried or fresh (use thin fleshed chilies such as fresh cayenne or smoky chilies such as guajillo)
1/2 tsp salt
sliced shallot, optional

prepared canning jars

Divide huckleberries between jars with shallots if desired. Cut a small slit in small chilies to aid in flavoring the brine or tear large chilies into pieces. Place vinegar, sugar, water, spices, chilies, and salt in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 7 -10 minutes and pour over huckleberries, dividing brine and spices evenly between jars. Cover and let sit for at least one day before using. Refrigerate up to 2 months. For longer preservation cool brine before adding to berries and process jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

Pickled huckleberries with apple cider vinegar, juniper, and fennel

1 pound huckleberries, washed
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
2 tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp salt
sliced shallots, optional

prepared canning jars
2-4 bay leaves
2-4 small umbels wild fennel flowers or seeds (or 1 tsp fennel seeds added to brine while heating)

Divide fennel umbels and bay leaves between jars.
Follow the directions for preparing pickled huckleberries from previous recipe but strain out spices from hot pickling brine before adding to huckleberries.


  1. Loved tasting these at the market on Sunday. And, loved the lobster mushrooms, chantrelles and fresh berries I took home from you too!

  2. Where will Foraged & Found be this week? I'm in need of some more huckleberries!

  3. Thanks Robin! I love those pickled hucks, I made jars and jars of them.

    We will be at the Queen Anne and Bellevue Markets on Thursday, and also the usual weekend markets - U district, Ballard and West Seattle.
    It is probably the last week for berries.

  4. Thanks for the great recipes. I posted a link on our site:

    International Wild Huckleberry Association