Wild herbs and flowers that are ideal candidates for salting are: Nettles, yarrow, cleavers, dead nettles, wild oregano, wild thyme, wild garlic, 3 cornered leek, ground elder, ground ivy, lady’s smock, bittercress, ox eye daisy, garlic mustard (hedge garlic), honesty, spruce tips, cherry blossom, apple blossom, rose petal and honeysuckle.
– Ensure your herbs are thoroughly washed, removing any soil and you have removed any discoloured parts. Place the herbs in a container with a cover
– Dissolve 25g salt into 500ml just boiled water (it is best to use a scale for this rather than using teaspoons as 5g of a finer salt will take up less volume than larger flakes).
– Stir the salted water until the salt is dissolved, and leave to cool.
– Once cool, pour the salty water over the herbs, ensuring all the plant is under water (you can use a whieghted object to keep them down), cover and leave for a few hours (up to 12 hours is ideal) before removing the plants.
– Shake the herbs, and then dry to remove any moisture (which will spoil the plants) If you have a dehydrator then dry crumbly, otherwise place on a clean tea towel and dry on a radiator, or in a very low oven – just don’t dry your pungent herbs in an airing cupboard where you also dry clothes or everything you wear from it will remind you of your pungent mistake.
Alongside the jars of the magical 5th taste, you’ll be left with a flavoured brine water; don’t throw this away as you can use it to soak meat, fish or vegetables – which pull the wild flavours into your food; or dilute it down to cook pulses or beans in.
And perhaps the most precious use of the brine – splashed into a dirty martini, which is best drunk whilst you’re looking through your collection of jars and bottles and wishing you had labelled them all..