Eat Your Christmas Tree!

Eat Your Christmas Tree!

17 December 2015 by Matthew Grainger

No doubt at the moment your Christmas tree will probably look considerably better covered in tinsel and decorations than it would on your plate, but pine needles are indeed edible,  and they can be a really fun ingredient to experiment with this time of year. Pine needles have a mint-fresh, unsurprisingly pine-like flavour, that adds a really intersting sharp dimension to almost anything, from a traditional Sunday roast to a round of cocktails.

The most traditional way to use pine needles is to steep them in hot water to make a simple tea, high in vitamins A and C. This same pine needle tea ca also be used to flavor simple broth-based soups, breads, and sauces. Whole pine needles can also be used to infuse braises or in marinades for fish, meats, and other dishes.There's a good argument for the idea of cocktails made with pine-infused simple syrup or even pin- infused honey and good quality oils.

If you have a pine tree nearby, you can harvest your own needles. All pine needles are edible, though you may find that you like the flavor of some pines over others (genuinely!). Just be sure the tree hasn't been sprayed with any pesticides or herbicides. Also, younger needles tend to have a milder flavor that works better for cooking. Young needles will be lighter in color and softer (less tough and brittle) than older needles. And why notkeep your eye out for pine needle tea at natural foods stores.  

No doubt at the moment your Christmas tree will probably look considerably better covered in tinsel and decorations than it would on

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