Japanese Knotweed & beetroot relish

What better way to try and halt the spread of invasive edible plants but to eat them. Make sure you are picking from a patch of knotweed that isn’t sprayed with herbicides. So better to find some well off the beaten track.

Word of warning: Its seriously good!

Ingredients: (all approximate, sorry!)

Good big bunch of beetroot

About 15 or so decent sized young knotweed shoots

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

Approx 300 ml vinegar (white wine or cider vinegar)

300 grams soft brown sugar

Spices, including:

Cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, cloves, all spice, cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper

 

Method:

Peel and chop the beetroot into small dices approx 1cm

Bring the beetroot in water to the boil for 10 mins or so, then strain and set aside.

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.

Chop the knotweed shoots into small rings, discarding the very tops.

Add the beetroot, onion, garlic, spices (in a muslin bag if using whole spices), vinegar and sugar into a pan and bring ot the boil. Turn down to a simmer and reduce the mixture for a while, until is starts to thicken a little. Carry on simmering.

Add the knotweed shoots to the pan, and continue to simmer. Keep reducing until a consistency where you are able to bring the wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan, revealing the base. The beetroot should still have some firmness or ‘bite’, rather than be completely soft.

Add some salt and pepper to taste.

The mixture should be pretty thick but able to slowly pour of the spoon. You are after a similar consistency to a good jam.

Immediately decant into sterilised jars.  Label and store in a cool place.

Enjoy with whatever you fancy!

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