Is this spring particularly good for violets or have I just not noticed them before. I see them everywhere in full bloom, little purple jewels hiding in the forest under the brush. Their sweet, almost grape like scent wafting through the air. And the best bit is that the amazing flowers are edible. They can be crystallised or made into syrup, which can be added into salad dressings or cocktails or drizzled over ice cream for an extra burst of flowery flavour. It was used medicinally by the Victorians, so if you are feeling a bit under the weather, you could even add the syrup to your tea. That’s it, I have to go pick some now and make violet syrup so I can try some of these ideas. I am getting inspired just thinking about this.
Time: 25 minutes + 1 day
50g of Violets
200ml Boiling water
200g White caster sugar
- Carefully wash the violets if you have foraged them yourselves, to remove dirt and insects.
- Place into a jug or jar and add hot water until the flowers are just covered. Leave in a cool place for 1 day to allow the flavour and the stunning colour to infuse.
- Drain the violets, making sure to keep the water. Don’t worry if the colour has become cloudy or green-blue, it will turn to a dusty purple later.
- Place the liquid into a clean pan and weigh it. Place the same amount of sugar into the liquid and start to gently heat in the pan, while stirring. Don’t allow to boil.
- As the sugar is dissolving, sterilise your container that you wish to put the syrup into, with hot water.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, add a few drops of lemon juice. This will change the colour and give it that wonderful dusty purple.
- Pour into your sterilised contain, seal and leave to cool. Use it for whatever you want, go crazy! It should keep for 6-7 months.
Disclaimer: Foraging for food is at your own risk. If you are not 100% sure of the plant, don’t pick it.
I recommend Food For Free (Collins Gem) as a good starting reference book as its small and can easily be carried with you while out walking and can be used to help identify plants.