Exotic Preserves: 12 Foods to Make This Summer

Pickles, jellies, jams and preserves, oh my! Home canning and other methods of food preservation enable us to stretch out the bountiful summer produce season, and experimenting beyond the typical recipes can enhance the flavors of your meals year-round. Keep these 12 recipes for unusual and exotic preserved foods in mind as you peruse the farmer’s markets this summer.

Peppered Peach and Rosemary Jam

Rosemary and pepper give peach jam a twist you’ve probably never tasted, adding savory herbal flavors that pear beautifully with the sweetness of the white peaches. Try it with goat cheese and arugula on rounds of toasted french bread. Get the recipe at My Pantry Shelf.

Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns

Pickle something different for a change – like delicate edible fiddlehead ferns. While their availability in the wild is over for the year, this might be an idea to save for next spring, when they appear in farmer’s markets. Pickling them helps keep this fleeting speciality in your pantry a little longer. Learn how at Serious Eats.

Pickled Watermelon

Slices of sweet watermelon are preserved in champagne vinegar along with minced shallot, fresh ground pepper, cilantro, coriander and honey for a sweet-and-savory treat. Bon Appetit has the how-to.

Rose Petal Jam

Roses aren’t just decorative – they can be edible, too! Use organic rose petals to make this jelly recipe from Martha Stewart, which brings out the flavor with sugar and lemon juice.

Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

Don’t throw away those swiss chard stems – you could be making spicy delicious sriracha fridge pickles. Bon Appetit has a recipe that consists simply of the stems, celery seeds, onion and a little of that addictive hot condiment along with vinegar and sugar.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Did you know that you can preserve lemons with salt? This Moroccan delicacy can be pretty pricey when found at importers or speciality stores, but it’s actually really easy to make yourself. The flavor of the lemon mellows out and becomes more complex with fermentation.

Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly

‘Tuna jelly’ doesn’t sound very appetizing – it calls to mind the gross jiggly fat sometimes found in a can of fish. But in this case, it’s referring to the nickname for the prickly pear cactus. Lemons and a little sugar bring out the flavors of this unusual fruit.

Taco Pickles

So named for their ability to enhance the flavor of tacos (and sandwiches… and salads…) these pickles incorporate radishes, carrots, jalapenos and cilantro. Get the recipe at Eva Kolenko.

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

Sweet and spicy flavors collide in this recipe for raspberry jalapeno jam. You can adjust the amount of peppers added to your taste, ranging from just-a-hint-of-spice to an eye-watering punch.

Canteloupe Jam with Vanilla

The creator of this recipe says that when you preserve cantaloupe and pair it with vanilla, it tastes like a Creamsicle. It’s an intriguing flavor, and the process is pretty easy. Learn how at Cooking Channel TV.

Lavender Jelly

It is said that lavender jelly was Queen Elizabeth the First’s absolute favorite, and once you’ve tasted it, perhaps you’ll understand why: it seems to preserve and sweeten the scent of lavender fields in the English countryside. Get the recipe at Howling Duck Ranch.

Balsamic Pickled Figs

How delicious do these sound? Fresh figs, balsamic vinegar, sage honey, sugar, walnuts, peppercorns and thyme or rosemary come together for another intriguing blend of flavors in this recipe from Put Up or Shut Up.

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