A detour to view some daffodils, followed by a walk along the creek led to a small patch of sweet violets – Viola odorata. We returned to find whole banks covered in violets further along the path. Ironically, sweet violets aren’t always violet, but shades of blues, pinks and purples and the occasional white bloom. Take care when foraging to collect from as an wide area as possible, avoiding clearing patches entirely. Making foraged sweet violet vinegar takes only a handful of blooms, gently pinch off the violet off the stem, leaving the plant to grow.
Making sweet violet vinegar is a simple way to enjoy them in a savoury dish, use it in dressings or marinades or you could simply sprinkle some on a salad. This recipe makes about a cup of foraged sweet violet vinegar, you could of course make a larger quantity if you have a supply of violets and the patience to pick them.
Foraged Sweet Violet Vinegar
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sweet violets
Carefully rinse and place the the violets on a clean towel to dry. Add to sterilised jar with rice wine vinegar and set aside until the violets have lost their colour and the vinegar is pink.
Strain the violet flowers and
Foraging can be a great way to gather free wild food while enjoying the outdoors. Other ingredients I forage for include samphire, nasturtium seeds, walnuts, blackberries and apples. This year I have added rowan berries and chestnuts to my foraging calendar.