Monday, March 13, 2017

Pickled greenbriar tips foraging recipe. Fat free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo.

It's that time of the year again! Greenbriar   Is a really unique wild edible that you generally can only get in the early to mid spring, March through April around here in Texas, and April through June back where I used to live up north.

Greenbriar, genus name: Smilax, is an easy-to-identify vine, and only the young growing tips are edible, which is why you can harvest in the spring. 

I was only able to get a few handfuls this early, but I'm sure I'll be pulling bags of greenbriar from the woods soon! Because I only had a small amount, I decided to make more of a snack, rather than a full meal. I thought pickling would work out well, and it did! They held their crispness well, and the flavor pairs perfectly with salty, sour, and dill.

Here's what I did, but feel free to try your own pickling recipe:

  1. Blanch 2 cups of greenbriar tips in boiling water for 1 minute. Add them to a glass or glazed ceramic container (not metal or plastic)
  2. Smack 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns with the side of a knife a couple of times. Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
  3. Bring 2 cups of white vinegar to a boil, add in peppercorns, coriander, garlic, 1 tsp. dried dill, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp powdered cumin, and 1/4 tsp sugar.
  4. Boil for 5 minutes then pour in with the greenbriar. Seal and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Store in the fridge and enjoy them within 2 weeks.


  1. I loved greenbriar the one time I tried it, but I can't remember what month I found it and have been searching for a general idea of when it grows new shoots. I have to get to the woods at just the right time or the deer won't save me any. I'm in South Carolina, zone 8/7b. Are you farther south? I'm thinking I saw somewhere that you're in Florida, but now I can't find that reference again (and I may be thinking of another forager...).

    By the way, I just linked to you from my blog on a post about identifying wild edibles. I'm a new blogger without a following, so my link may not help you any, but just wanted to say great job on all you've written! I've found a lot of it to be helpful and interesting.

    1. I'm in Texas, north of Dallas, so zone 8A. It grows most abundantly here in late March, through April, though I can find it into May as re-growth.

      Thank you so much for linking to my blog! I had actually already linked to yours in my references list down at the bottom of my page, but I had put you as a primarily gardening blog, rather than a foraging blog. Which would you say your blog is, primarily? I also have a homesteading section.

      Thanks again,

  2. Thanks for the reply, and I'll be on the lookout for greenbriar soon! My blog is fairly new (February) so I'm still feeling my way around with what it'll primarily be (other than the general topic of food), but I expect it will be geared more toward gardening. Thanks for linking to me, too!