I’ve talked a lot on the blog here and in my books about goldenberries and their remarkable nutrition: namely, high levels of immune-boosting vitamins, as well as their stores of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. But what often gets passed by is just how incredible goldenberries are to cook with and use in recipes. The reason behind this frequent oversight is simple: goldenberries are delicious as is! And yet, if you can suppress your urge to eat your entire goldenberry stash right away, the culinary rewards are truly great.
If you’re lucky, around spring and summer, you may see fresh goldenberries pop up in farmer’s markets and select natural food stores. They’re hard to miss: wrapped inside a natural papery husk, each goldenberry sits like a prized pearl, shiny and smooth, with a bright golden-orange hue reminiscent of an egg yolk. Bite into the berry and you’ll enjoy a pop of mildly sweet, citrusy flavor that ranges from floral to lemon to honey to grapefruit. Due to their scarcity and expense, these fresh berries are usually reserved for special occasions, or as a singular ornament for desserts.
When sun-dried, goldenberries become an entirely different beast. As with anything dried, the flavors deeply condense, dramatizing the already not-shy flavor of the goldenberry. Like a sweet and sour candy, goldenberries explode on the palate, and with each chew bring a new swash of zesty flavor. In many kitchens, foods as powerful as the goldenberry are often reserved for the spice department, but because of goldenberry’s sweetness, you can get away with adding them to many types of recipes, instantly enlivening your entire dish with a sophisticated and exciting edge. Here are some of my favorite ways to use dried goldenberries in cooking:
- Minced and added to a chutney
- Simmered into a jam
- Blended or macerated into cocktails
- Blended into dipping sauces and glazes for proteins and starches
- Tossed into sweet and savory salads
- Cooked with rice or grains
- Combined with creamy desserts
Just remember that adding a handful of goldenberries to your dishes has an amazing way of instantly elevating your entire meal. How will you use your next batch of dried goldenberries?