Sweet Pickled Cow Parsley Stems

Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), also known as Wild Chervil, is a very under used wild edible, yet its flavour is truly unique. I don’t mean unique as in yuck, quite the contrary in fact. But unique in that, if I have to name a similar flavour, it would be somewhere between mild aniseed and liquorice.

WARNING Cow Parsley and the deadly Hemlock often grow next to each other. It is absolutely vital that you can identify Cow Parsley with 200% accuracy. If you cannot, then leave this recipe and the plant alone. I am being very serious when I say you could kill yourself if you harvest the wrong plant.

Article: Is It Cow Parsley or Hemlock?

The leaves can be used like parsley or garden chervil. However I like to eat the stems of Cow Parsley either peeled and raw, or simply steamed. I find the purple ones best, more supple and with better flavour. I eat them with butter like you would asparagus, however because there is such a glut, I wanted to preserve some, and came up with this Cow Parsley pickle recipe.

Cow Parsley Recipe Ingredients

  • As many Cow Parsley stems as you think will fill a few jars.
  • 400ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbs clear honey
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp whole celery seed

Cow Parsley Recipe Instructions

  1. Wash and trim Cow Parsley stems so they fit inside your jars, leaving enough room to be covered with spiced vinegar.
  2. Fast boil them for 60 seconds, then drain and allow to cool.
  3. Wash and sterilise your jars using boiling water.
  4. Pour the vinegar into a pan and add the honey, turmeric, ground cloves, yellow mustard seeds and celery seeds and bring to the boil, then remove from heat.
  5. Pack the jars with the Cow Parsley stems, and pour over the spiced vinegar so it covers them, then seal with a lid that has a rubber coating.
  6. Leave to mellow for two months, but can be eaten after a few days for those who cannot wait!

Serves: 2 jars