Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elderberry Capers

Elderberries are coming into season here in the Methow, but you can still find an abundance of unripe elderberries for this fabulous recipe. I first made this with my mentor, Karen Sherwood of Earthwalk Northwest.

This following recipe straight from Billy Joe Tatum's Wild Foods Cookbook, but I omit the sugar when making it for our family.

We enjoy these elderberries as we would regular capers - on fish, salads, and tuna fish sandwiches.

Elderberry capers:

2 cups unripe elderberries stems removed
¼ cup salt
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar

1. Wash the green elderberries, drain well, and place in a sterile crock or jar.
2. Dissolve salt in water and pour over berries. Cover with a cloth and let stand for 2 days.
3. Drain elderberries or buds and pour into sterile half pint canning jars.
4. Boil sugar and vinegar together for 2 or 3 minute s and pour into jars (jars should fill to top) and seal at once.


Sarah said...

Hi Rosalee

I hope you don't mind if I add your recipe to others I have for elderberries. It's the first one I've seen for using the green berries. I'd like to post it on the Herb Society website and will put a link back to your site on the posting.

Many thanks


Rosalee de la Foret said...

I don't mind at all - thanks for reading.

Brenda said...

Thank you for posting this recipe, I have been excitedly awaiting the arrival of the elderberries on our farm this year. I was wondering whether you hot water bath the jars after putting the lids on, or whether you just store the "capers" in the refrigerator. Would you consider your recipe a lactic fermentation, and that they self-seal, not needing refrigeration?

Rosalee de la Forêt said...

Hi Brenda,

I never stored these capers in the fridge even. I think the vinegar and salt combo is more than enough to preserve them. I am definitely not the expert on preservation though. I tend to be way more lax than most people.

Butter said...

I've tried to turn all sorts of buds into mock capers, but not yet elderberries. Can't wait to try this!

veggisushi said...

I tried this and it worked great! Could I use it on my blog and link your site as my source?

Thanks for the awesome recipe

Rosalee de la Forêt said...


Kim Sim said...

Hi Rosalle,
It is safe to eat the elderberry capers since unripe elderberries have cyanide glycosides?

Rosalee de la Forêt said...

Hi Kim,

I'm aware of that, but I assume it must be a small amount. Sorta like having to eat a quart of apple seeds to do any harm. I've eaten countless capers and I'm doing okay. I learned how to make capers from my mentor who's been serving capers for decades.

If it makes you uncomfortable then I would avoid them.