Try to choose roots from plants that are between two and four years old. Anything smaller than that will be too insignificant for the effort, and older roots are woody and bland. A burdock plant's age can be determined by its size.
While any vinegar can be used to pickle foraged roots, try using Japanese rice vinegar to make "yamagobo" – pickled burdock root marinated in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Tangy, sweet and refreshingly crunchy, yamagobo is incredibly easy to make and great as an accompaniment to sushi rolls or rice meals.
Simply put rice vinegar, sugar, salt, water and food coloring in a saucepan, then heat until the sugar and salt are completely melted. Let the mixture cool down.
In the meantime, add the cut gobo (burdock) sticks into a container or mason jar. Add the marinade, cover with the lid and place it in the refrigerator. It's ready after three days, but you can store it in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Young cattail hearts taste quite a bit like asparagus when steamed, and also take on other flavors easily – making them ideal to forage and pickle. Harvest a big bunch of shoots, and cut them into pieces that will fit comfortably into mason jars. Then remove the outer skin, leaving just the white/pale green heart intact.
Drop a couple of garlic cloves into each jar, along with a generous sprig of fresh dill and about 1/2 a teaspoon of pickling spice. Add the cattail hearts until they've packed the jar, putting in smaller chunks to fill any spaces.
Bring a vinegar-water mixture to a boil, with either salt or salt and sugar added to taste. Pour this into the jars, and slop around in there with a chopstick to release any air bubbles. Then cap and seal them, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. (Related: Edibles in plain sight: 15 Common wild plants that are safe to eat.)
Harvest dandelion buds when they've just appeared above the basal rosette leaves. They'll be small and densely packed. Harvest about two cups' worth if possible, rinse them and drain them well.
Mix 2/3 cups vinegar with 1/3 cup water and about one teaspoon of sea salt in a saucepan. Transfer the buds into a clean, sterilized jar and bring the vinegar mixture to a boil. Pour the boiling liquid into the jar, leaving half an inch of headspace, then seal. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes.
Spruce tips provide a bright, lemony flavor that remains intact when pickled. It can be complemented by different spices added in to the brining mixture. Spruce tips often appear in early springtime as tender, soft and bristly tips – best harvest and preserve them.
Foraged mushrooms that aren't poisonous can also be preserved for future use. Chanterelles, morels and chicken of the woods are great when pickled. They often go well with game fowl like partridge, grouse and wild turkey.
Only use young mushrooms for conserves and pickles, small tight buttons will yield the highest quality product. Larger, more mature mushrooms are better dried. However, be warned that adding too much herbs, spices and garlic to the pickling liquid for the mushrooms could make them taste like medicine.
Watch this video about picking and preserving wild edibles.
This video is from the Daily Videos channel on Brighteon.com.