Recipes from My Edible Landscape
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Pickled Cherry Blossoms

from Adapted From Uni Sashimi Bar. Appeared in NY Times Magazine Food Blog, 2012


Ken Oringer of Clio Restaurant and Uni Sashimi Bar in Boston has devised a clever way of preserving the essence of cherry blossoms long after the blooms themselves have wilted and fallen from the trees: he pickles the flowers and then uses them to adorn sashimi, the same way one would use pickled ginger. The recipe below can be used to preserve any similar fruit blossom. Rose petals would also work nicely.
Makes about 1 cup.

Ingredients

2 cups rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed
1 umeboshi plum (available at Japanese markets or health-food stores)
½ teaspoon grenadine syrup
8 ounces cherry blossoms, or other edible blossoms.

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients except the cherry blossoms in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Put the cherry blossoms in a heat-resistant container and pour the just-boiled liquid over them.
  4. Stir gently to submerge the flowers completely in the liquid.
  5. Cool, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for at least three days before serving.
  6. The pickled blossoms will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.

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