Elderberry Sauce

*WARNING: Some people experience nausea from eating raw elderberries. Be sure to dry or cook your blue or purple-colored elderberries before eating them.*

The Elders have asked us to listen. Nelson Mandela celebrated his 89th birthday last week by announcing the formation of a powerful group called The Elders. Their voices are calling us to listen, as does the elder tree. This tree has been used for centuries for making music.

The video below highlights one of the most amazing meals I’ve had in a long time. A pork chop covered in elderberry orange sauce, over a duet of wild California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) and nasturtium spaetzle, was divine. Thank God for friends like Chef Bob! A true artist of the kitchen, his ability to create a perfect blend of flavors is unsurpassed. He started by brushing the pork chops with olive oil, sea salt, and my hot pepper mix. He then seared them in a hot pan for 30 seconds on each side, and then put them into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. This video will also show you how to make elderberry syrup, and highlight elderflower tincture, elderflower infused oil, elderberry tincture, and dried elderberries. Click here to see my elderflower fritter recipe and click here to read more about the wisdom of elder.

Elderberry Sauce
1 1/2 c elderberries
juice of 2 medium sized oranges
2 Tbsp orange zest, cut in long thin strips
1/4 c agave nectar
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp butter

Place all ingredients, except butter, into saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

California Buckwheat Spaetzle
1/2 c California Buckwheat flour
1/2 c unbleached white flour
1 egg
2/3 c milk
1/8 tsp salt
generous pinch of hot pepper powder

Nasturtium Spaetzle
2 tsp nasturtium powder
1 c unbleached white flour
1 egg
2/3 c milk
1/8 tsp salt
generous pinch of hot pepper powder

Combine ingredients of each spaetzle mixture separately. Simmer 1/2 gallon of water in a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp salt. Place a colander over the top of your large pot and pour in one of your spaetzle mixtures. Using the back of a spoon push mixture through the holes into simmering water. Remove colander and stir spaetzle. When they float, strain them off the top and place into bowl of ice water. Wash colander and repeat process with second spaetzle mixture. To reheat melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan, add spaetzle, and toss until thoroughly heated.


  1. jinct says:

    Wow! That looks like an absolutely AMAZING meal! I’m drooling all over my keyboard as I type this….
    One question: the elderberries that went into the brandy, were those fresh or dried?
    Thanks for doing a great video, Sambucus is one of my favorite plants.

  2. sunny says:

    The elderberries put into the brandy were fresh, as were the flowers. I also dry a lot of flowers and add 1 tsp of dried flowers to about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of hot water. Start this or the tincture at first symptoms of cold/flu. Glad you liked the video. Chef Bob is amazing, a truly original chef.

    cheers, ~sunny

  3. LizzyFin says:

    Sunny – I missed our Elderberry harvest last year but I enjoyed your video then. I’ll be picking berries this week and wonder how you use the dried elderberries?
    I’m going to make some sauce and syrup with them for starters and that moonshine is just begging to store a few berries for the winter season.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  4. sunny says:

    Hi LizzyFin!

    mmmm…glad you’ll be out there pickin! I just had some of my dried elderberries cooked with some local sour cherries (I’m in Kansas this week). not bad over a little ice cream on a hot day. take care and enjoy. cheers, ~sunny

  5. rachel says:

    hi, i found an over abundance of elderberries and would like to know how i can dry them. i searched all over the internet to no avail. i would appreciate this info. thanks

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