Elderberry Polenta & Elderberry Bread Pudding

Happy Lammas! This ancient festival, falling half way between Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox, marks the beginning of the harvest season. I’ve harvested between 40 and 50 pounds of elderberries already, so am literally swimming in them. This is the essence of what seasonal eating is all about. When something is in season, you take advantage of eating large quantities of whatever it is. If you have a food in abundance, and you like it, you are then able to store for later use. Chef Bob shows us how to make 2 interesting dishes using the elderberries. Both are savory, not sweet, and could be used as a main dish or as a side. Chef Bob uses an elderberry essence/sauce to drizzle on top of both plates, and it is simply elderberry juice and agave nectar cooked down into a syrup. Enjoy!

Follow these links to read more about elder:
Elderblow Fritters
The Wisdom of Elder
Elderberry Sauce

Tip: When cleaning your elderberries some people like to use a hair pick to pull them off the stems. I just use my fingers and put them into a big tub of water. This way any leaves, not-so-good berries, flower remnants, etc., float to the surface. I then strain them in a colander and rinse several times.

Savory Elderberry Bread Pudding

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 T butter
3 c bread, diced into 1/4” cubes
1 c elderberries, blanched
1/4 c wild black walnuts, or conventional walnuts
2 c chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1 t thyme, dried
1/4 t dried hot pepper mix
1/4 t salt

To blanch elderberries put them into boiling water for one minute. Remove from hot water and place into bowl of cold water. Saute onions in butter until translucent. In bowl mix all ingredients. Butter molds for cooking the bread pudding and heat oven to 350. Place molds into oven pan and pour water in the bottom of oven pan so that the outside of the molds are sitting in a water bath about 1/2 way up their sides. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 35 minutes.

Elderberry Goat Cheese Polenta

1 c cornmeal
4 t blue cornmeal
1 1/2 qt vegetable stock
1/4 t dried hot pepper mix
1 T butter
1/2 c goat cheese

Place all ingredients into pan and mix with wire whisk until smooth. Cook on medium heat, stirring regularly until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese, saving some for garnish.

4 comments

  1. Carol McAlpine says:

    Loved the information on this site.Our family has used Elderberries for years.
    Can’t find your recipe for “hot pepper mix”
    Would appreciate it.
    Thanks

  2. sunny says:

    Hi Carol,

    I had an CSA (community supported agriculture) share last year. So, every week I would get a box of beautifully grown foods. Well, the farmers growing the food grew many many different kinds of hot peppers. I would simply take all of those different kinds of peppers & dry them & grind them. Chef Bob kept calling it wild pepper mix…and I kept telling him it wasn’t…but he kept saying it. 🙂 So, I guess it’s wild hot, not wildly grown. 🙂

    glad you like the site.
    take care & keep enjoying elder! cheers, ~sunny

  3. Alaa says:

    I am in shock that no one understands the beineft of elderberry… I love it so does my kids..We have had a cold or something in our house since sept 2010.In feburary 2011, I have finally found elderberry concentrate at 20$ for 16 oz started everyone drinking it either straight or in water/ juice…I like mine in seltzer..yum! No cold or cough in sight…Thanks for the syrup will make it as soon as I can find dried elderberry…plan to grow some this year in my garden…Simply the best!P.SElderberry wine is to be very good!!! Loretta

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