I won’t spend too much time here talking about cattails. You can find my foraging notes on cattails here, my previous post about chinese cattail salad. I posted that in very early spring, when they were just starting to show. As you can see in the picture below, a few weeks makes a big difference. The shoots are now big enough for pickling.
Below you will find my pickling recipe for everything. We made this all the time with cucumbers from the garden back when we had it, and they were absolutely delicious. Turns out it is equally good with cattail shoots (and I’d bet juat about anything else you wanted to throw in that jar).
Ingredients (per 2 pint jars):
1 cup water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp dried dill or other herbs
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp pickling salt
Enough cattail shoots to fill the jars (they vary a lot in size)
Directions: Boil the vinegar, water, and salt. Split the garlic and herbs evenly between the two jars. Fill the jars with cleaned cattail shoots. Pour the brine in, filling the jar nearly to the top.
Put on a new lid and boil in a large pot of water for 10 minutes to preserve. Water bath canning instructions can be found here. If you don’t care about preserving them on the shelf, skip the water bath and just put them in the fridge, where they ought to last a couple weeks.
Disclaimer: Make sure you understand water bath canning before you try to preserve anything. Canning does have some danger to it.