Spiced Pickled Acorns

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Acorn recipes tend to be rather bland and boring. Most folks grind them into flour and add that to bread or as a thickener for stews and casseroles. For this acorn recipe, I decided to do something a little different. Why not spice them up and pickle them.

So there I was starring at my freshly processed batch of acorns and wondering what on earth I could do with them.

Then a flash of Pickled Walnuts came to mind. “Ah-ha,” I thought. These crafty acorns had just revealed how they wanted to be preserved.

For this acorn recipe, I used English Oak (Quercus robur), however, I think that acorns from Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) might go down rather well too because they contain less tannin and therefore require less processing, which would result in a firmer pickled acorn.

Spiced Pickled Acorn Recipe Ingredients

    • 550g whole/halved acorns (Here’s how to process acorns to remove the tannin.)
    • 6tsp sea salt
    • 500ml malt vinegar
    • 150g sugar
    • ½tsp ground black pepper
    • ½tsp ground allspice
    • ½tsp ground cloves
    • ½tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1tbsp freshly grated ginger

Spiced Pickled Acorn Recipe Instructions

  1. Cover acorns in salted water for 24 hours.
  2. Strain and allow to air dry for a few hours.
  3. In a pan add the black pepper, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, grated ginger and malt vinegar. Bring to boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon acorns into jars, then cover with the spiced vinegar and seal.
  5. If you get twitchy you can eat them after 14 days, but they are best if allowed to mature for between 3-6 months.

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About The Author

Robin HarfordRobin Harford is a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical researcher, and wild food educator. He is the author of Plantopedia: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants.

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For over fifteen years I have experimented and explored the world of wild plants. Uncovering how our ancestors used plants to nourish and heal themselves.

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Share your experience. Leave a note for others

  1. This looks interesting. Ive never had acorn before. Jist curious what is the texture like? You mentioned a firmer acorn. So is it squashy /mushy?

  2. Please, Robin, I am new to foraging. At what stage of maturity do you harvest your acorns? Are they green or brown when you ise them for pickling?

    Thank you.

  3. You need to harvest them in Autumn, when they are just beginning to fall out the trees. I harvest them when they are gree/white-ish as well as the brown ones.


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