Cooking with Cannabis: Gunpowder Pickled Green Strawberries
This simple gunpowder green tea and cannabis vinegar pickled green strawberry recipe is rooted in a tiny Italian village of the Abruzzo region. This version is very simple and yields a pickle to be proud of when adorning your next artisan cured meat and farmstead cheese board.
Having an array of recipes that reflect the first crops of the year is hugely important to me as a chef who is driven by the natural succession of the seasons and what the temperature changes bring to our table. For several years now pickled green, unripe, tart strawberries have quickly gained popularity and have actually obtained trend status in upscale, white tablecloth restaurants across the United States. Most of these gastronomic “trends” have actual origins, usually in some tiny ethnic village somewhere in a desolate region of the world where necessity, not trend, brought upon the production of certain food product. This simple gunpowder green tea and cannabis vinegar pickled green strawberry recipe is rooted, (yup, you guessed it) in a tiny Italian village of the Abruzzo region.
This is the tiny village in the mountainous region of Italy where my family immigrated to the U.S. from in the early 1900s. The Abruzzesse version is made with the tiny wild strawberry called fragoline di bosco, usually gathered while on mountain hikes and so delicate they generally need to be eaten right away. Living in the Pacific Northwest, strawberry season extends a little longer, which gives us a variety of strawberries to choose from.
Okay, let’s talk about the gunpowder now that we’ve cleared up the fact that you are going to be eating green strawberries. The name “gunpowder” was given to some of the highest quality green teas that were tightly rolled, and resembled pelleted gunpowder used for cannons. This type of hand rolling helps preserve freshness and made the tea compact for packaging. Other than the very cool name “gunpowder,” I also combined the gunpowder green tea for its boost of energy and additional health benefits. Please remember, immune boosting gunpowder green tea just happens to contain more caffeine than any other kind of green tea due to that tight hand rolling of each of the leaves. I choose organic underripe green Mt. Hood strawberries (called “Hoods” if you live in the area) for this particular recipe. With most of the country in a robust renaissance of Old World food preservation techniques, wild crafting, and foraging, it was just a matter of time before this family tradition of mine is passed throughout the kitchens of the world.
This version is very simple and yields a pickle to be proud of when adorning your next artisan cured meat and farmstead cheese board. They also make a wonderful accompaniment to a roast of heritage breed pork like porchetta, or a simple pan roasted pork chop. Depending on what zone you live in you may already have several of your favorite varieties planted in your garden. For those of you that don’t, you can usually find green, unripe strawberries at your local u-pick farm at the beginning of each strawberry season.
Recipe: Gunpowder Pickled Green Strawberries
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
WAIT TIME: 3 days minimum
YIELD: 2 pints
TOTAL THC/CBD: Depends on the potency of the products used
STATUS: Boujee accoutrement
From the Cannabis Pantry: Cannabis-infused green tea vinegar
Chef’s Strain Recommendation: Larry Cake by Freddy’s Fuego
- 2 pint jars with lids
- Potato peeler
- Medium saucepan
- 3 cups organic green strawberries (unripe strawberries with no red parts)
- ¼ cup wildflower honey
- 1 cup cannabis-infused green tea vinegar (made in the MB2e)
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup of sugar
- pinch of Jacobsen sea salt
- ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ tsp fresh ginger (peeled into strips w/ peeler)
- ½ tsp dry gunpowder green tea leaves
- Poke each berry with a toothpick 3 times
- Place the clean, poked berries in the empty jars, set aside
- In a medium saucepan add the remaining ingredients.
- Over medium heat, stir to dissolve the honey, sugar, and salt
- Set aside and let it cool to room temperature
- When the liquid mixture cools, pour it over the berries in the clean jars
- Cover the jars to sit at room temperature for 3 hours and then refrigerate for 3-5 days before using
More recipes from Chef Sebastian Carosi:
- PNW Fork & Knife Avocado Toast
- Wild Nettle + Shiitake Mushroom Udon Bowl
- Smoky BBQ I502 Washington Whiskey Wings
Written by Sebastian Carosi | Chef, Leader of Farm 2 Fork
Chef Sebastian Carosi trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute, apprenticed with renowned chefs in Italy, and went on to lead the Farm 2 Fork movement in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Find him on Instagram at @chef_sebastian_carosi.