Pickled Broom Buds

pickled Scotch broom buds on a bagel with cream cheese
Scotch broom is a Class B noxious weed that grows in several convenient locations along the bike trail, so I was excited to learn that the flower buds are edible. Traditionally they are pickled and used like capers.

If I ever find myself in possession of more time than money, or in charge of a couple of children who need to be kept out of trouble, I will make these again. (I used this recipe and added a few mint leaves to the brine.) Otherwise, well. I picked broom buds for as long as I could stand it on two different afternoons. The first time, I barely got anything, because I was trying too early – there were only a couple of flowers in bloom per plant. The second time, when the bushes were about halfway covered in yellow, was more productive. There were plenty of buds on the branches, but it was still painstaking work to pick them – it took me maybe 45 minutes to gather enough for two bagels.

They were nice bagels! The pickled buds were pleasantly toothsome and tasted mostly of pickle-brine with an undertone of pea. They just weren’t quite a labor-intensive delicacy level of delicious. I might try this pickle idea again with some small peas, or possibly black locust flower buds, which are just starting to pop around here and grow on convenient racemes (if you can find a short enough tree).

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