Recipes of the season

  • Jul. 5, 2010 2:00 p.m.

Submitted by Sara Eaton for Islands Food–When we work to grow food and gather the fruits and vegetables that are the generous bounty of Haida Gwaii, cookbook recipes often don’t fit or are hard to find. Net recipes won’t tell you how it tastes. Who wants to make six quarts of something and not like it?During this growing and gathering season, Islands Food (IF) will present recipes for what is ready to harvest. Haida hunters and gatherers thrived on these islands and waters for more than 13,000 years; their wisdom is invaluable. Latecomers have recipes from around the world that have morphed into local. There’s no reason to fear that when the ferry/oil/food dependency falters, we’ll be foodless. We need to learn how to grow and gather now.Today’s recipe comes from Dolly Garza, biologist and seaweed expert. Two years ago I pickled sea asparagus (salicornia virginica); recipe from the net. Didn’t like it and was whining to Dolly. Her response: ‘try a bread and butter pickle solution’. That came out less than crisp; this year I’ve done the cold pack method instead of the boiling water bath Pickled sea Asparagus. Gather sea asparagus, what you think you’ll use. Sterilize jars and keep warm.*Wash asparagus in cold water.Prepare your favourite bread and butter pickle solution.Big pot of boiling water next. Dip a manageable amount of sea asparagus briefly into the boiling water. (I use a colander I can submerge) Make sure it all gets covered with hot water but no more than 10 seconds.Remove and quickly pack firmly into jars.Pour hot solution to cover and top with sterilized lids and rings.Wait three weeks – if you can’t, store a small amount in fridge and stir till you think it’s right!*Picking hint from Dolly: Grab handful of sea asp near base. Cut. Stop. Pick out bits of weed/grass from your handful. This saves endless grabbing at bits from the water wash later.Contact Islands Food: sara@haidagwaii.net.