Devil’s Club Pickles
Makes 1 quart
Devil’s Club Pickles are ideal for serving in Bloody Marys or Martinis, with grilled cheese sandwiches, on pâtés, or straight out of the jar when you need a quick snack.
1 pound devil’s club shoots (aka leaf buds)
1/4 packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn in half
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups vinegar, preferably white wine or champagne
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Carefully pick through devil’s club shoots and discard any twigs, leaves, spines, damaged shoots or brown leaf sheaths. Wash twice in cold water to remove all extraneous debris. Fill clean sink or large bowl with cold water.
Blanch cleaned shoots in large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain shoots and immediately plunge them into the sink’s cold water. Drain well. Try not to separate the multiple leaf shoots that make up a single devil’s club leaf bud.
Sterilize 1 large-mouth quart jar or 2 large-mouth pint jars in boiling water. Layer blanched devil’s club shoots in jar(s) with basil and garlic slices; the number of layers will depend on which size jar(s) you’re using. It’s perfectly fine to tightly fill the jar(s).
Place vinegar, water, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in pot and bring to a boil. Fill jar(s) of devils club with boiling vinegar/water mixture to within 1/2” of the top. Clean jar rim(s) and close with new jar lids and metal rings.
If you’re refrigerating pickles, close lid tightly, refrigerate, and let sit for at least 2 weeks before opening jar and eating. If you’re storing the pickles unrefrigerated, process in hot-water bath for 15 minutes, cool, close lid tightly, and store in cool dark place.