17/06/2013

Wild Cherry Ginger Sauce/Jam

The cherries in the park close to my house are ready. They haven't been attacked by insects yet and look perfect, but I  can't eat too many of them straight off the trees as they are quite tart.



The black cherries are a little sweeter, but there are less of them.



Since living in Italy I have learned to appreciate eating sweet/spicy/pickle jams and jellies  with cheese.
Some of my favourites are caramelized fig jam, strawberry and balsamic vinegar jam/sauce, sweet onion jam and green tomato chili jam. I also adore eating cheese (pecorino) with honey or sliced pears.
 Italians even have a proverb:
"Al contadino non fare sapere......
                                    ......quanto è buono il cacio con le pere!"
"Don't tell the farmer how good pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) is with pears!"


What about cherries?........I decided to try to make a spicy type of jam to eat with my cheese.
Recently I have discovered wild ginger growing near my home and I did think of adding some flavour with the roots, but after researching about it and  reading reports of serious toxicity I  decided to  NEVER-EVER- consider it again and use some cultivated ginger instead.


This recipe is an adapted version of a recipe from beechwoodinn.ws/wild-cherry-ginger-sauce


Ingredients 

1 cup  dry red wine
half cup granulated sugar 
3 Tablespoons finely grated ginger 
3 tablespoons  red wine vinegar
¼   cup fresh orange juice
2 cups   wild cherries 
grated  zest of a small orange
Directions:
Put the  ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer (I  didn't even remove the stalks). Simmer slowly for 2 – 3 hours until it reduces and thickens. Stir occasionally. When you are happy with the consistency pass through a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You  could remove the stalks before and leave the skins and stones to make a lumpy jam or you could simmer the seived sauce for longer to make a thicker jam.
This recipe make one small jar of thick sauce which I will keep in the fridge. It goes really well with "pecorino nero". 
It would also go well with roast meats (duck, turkey, pork)






NEVER CONSUME WILD PLANTS WITHOUT A LOCAL EXPERT OR SERIOUS RESEARCH FIRST.
  SOME WILD PLANTS ARE EDIBLE IN SOME COUNTRIES AND TOXIC IN OTHERS. 


7 comments:

  1. Looks like it would be delicious with cheese but, yes, I bet amazing with duck. I didn't realise that ginger grew wild in Europe, although it sounds a bit different to the Asian variety - is it ever edible?

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  2. Thanks for visiting :-) The European variety (Asarum europaeum) is highly toxic, but I think it has been used by herbalists in the distant past. I read somewhere that it was a snuff ingredient once. The American variety Asarum caudatum is supposed to be edible and also Asarum canadese, but there are also reports of toxicity and I definitely wouldn't risk it. There are also many other varieties worldwide.

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  3. Just picked a few wild cherries (guignes)from a neighbour's tree, and lots more to come as they ripen. We love this sort of fruit with cheese and meat, and this is a great new idea. Personally,I think I'd prefer something sweeter,more jam-like, with cheese, and the sharp version with meat. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Here they are called "ciliegie" pronounced "chilli-edge-e"

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  4. Cribbing off of Hank Shaw's research here: http://honest-food.net/2012/05/22/wild-ginger-edible-toxic/ - the toxic chemical in Asarum species is not soluble in water, so while it's a bad idea to eat the plants in any quantity, it's much less risky as tea.

    I see A. caudatum in the woods now and then, but so far haven't found it growing thickly enough that I've felt comfortable harvesting it.

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    1. Thanks for finding the time to comment Maria :-)
      -love your blog (greengabbro.net)
      I read a comment here about A canadese which didn't bode well

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    2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/wild-ginger/

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Thanks for your feedback. Comments are gladly accepted ;)