We are finally starting to see hemp as part of the daily meal plan. For those of us that have been around this plant for any length of time, we are used to utilizing the fan leaves, sugar leaf, shoots, sprouts, and even the pollen of the cannabis plant.

More and more people have pushed for cannabis consumption in eateries and coffee shops across the country; this consumption equates to smoking, not eating hemp or cannabis. I prefer to eat my cannabis as if it were what it is — a leafy green. A piquant, plant-based, protein-loaded, young leafy green at that.

With that said, let’s get into the brambles: wild blackberries, the hand-staining drupes. This salad is easy-peasy and relies on the freshness of the products used. But let’s not forget about these pickled purple beauties. Blackberries are extremely popular when eaten fresh, but they also make outstanding additions to sweet pies, savory pastries, all sorts of jams, jellies, syrups, and many other creative condiments these days. Most people really don’t think of them as a pickled addition to their food.

Read also: Growing Healthy Hemp Plants

Here in the Pacific Northwest where I live, we have this vast dank mountainous landscape entangled with thorny briars that are literally dripping with sweet, plump, dark-purple berries in the summertime sun. There are deep thickets of free, wild edible commodities that sometimes stretch for miles, begging to be eaten. I can recall Tim Robbins noting in one of his more horticultural moments: “blackberries spread so rapidly that dogs and small children were sometimes engulfed and never heard from again.”

This formidable, mostly evergreen vine with compound leaves and stout thorns is especially fond of the Pacific Northwest climate and thrives here like few other places. That means a lot of blackberry goodies for me — small hand pies, jams and jellies, but most of all eaten out of hand. Yup, eaten out of hand under the late summer sun, in the middle of a potentially dangerous patch of very thorny brambles is my all-time favorite way to consume these drupes.

Enjoy these lightly pickled berries in this thoroughly nourishing hemp salad.

Read also: Cooking with Cannabis: Nasturtium and Fresh Cannabis Leaf Pesto

Pickled Wild Blackberry Salad with Hemp

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
WAIT TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: 4 individual salads or 1 large family-style salad
TOTAL THC/CBD: depends on potency of products used

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • cast iron skillet
  • medium stainless-steel mixing bowl
  • chef’s knife
  • cutting board
  • large serving spoon
  • tongs, serving platter or plates

INGREDIENTS

  • •2 cups wild blackberries
  • 1/4 cup cannabis rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. wildflower honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked toasted tri-color quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked toasted farro or einkorn
  • 2 cups organic baby kale leaves
  • 1 cup young hemp or cannabis leaves
  • 1/2 cup misc. young herbs or nasturtiums
  • 2 tbsp. roasted sunflower seeds
  • 3 tbsp. roasted pistachios (rough chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. toasted hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 drop geraniol
  • kosher salt + cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large stainless-steel mixing bowl, quick-pickle the blackberries in the cannabis vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. Toast the quinoa and grain in a dry skillet, do not burn.
  3. Cook the quinoa and grain to your desired doneness in a medium saucepan in boiling, salted water.
  4. Strain and refrigerate the quinoa and grain.
  5. In the large mixing bowl with the berries and berry liquid, add the remaining ingredients, holding back some of the pistachios. Quickly and gently toss the salad and place it on your desired serving vessel or vessels.
  6. Garnish with the remaining chopped pistachios and serve.

*this salad is ultra-good topped with 2 tbsp. of goat cheese or feta crumbles.