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I live near a small patch of forest that features various pines and firs. I have been thinking to use their needles for home-made gravlax.

What would be the safest way to prepare them in a way that would retain their qualities?

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  • I doubt you need to do more than wash the needles to remove dirt. From a quick google, few people use needles any more, most replace with dill and similar herbs.
    – bob1
    Oct 19 '19 at 20:40
  • I did it with dill many times. I guess it's a common recipe because dill is very easy to get. But I fancy to try it the "original" way :)
    – Kentzo
    Oct 20 '19 at 21:22
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    OK. I would just be aware that you probably don't want to go for just any old pine-needles, you would preferably use young shoots from spruce trees. Other species are not so palatable, and older leaves will be quite "piney" in flavour and very tough, so won't provide the antioxidant needed for preservation. Have a look here
    – bob1
    Oct 20 '19 at 21:33
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    Bob, you should post that as an answer.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 21 '19 at 5:05
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Picture open source from Steven Stolper. Nature Outside. enter image description here

So as you see above. The spring time is the best time collect Douglas Fir needles. The light green new ones make the best forage food. Can be boiled in a tea or added as any spice atop fish, foul or steak.

There are other varieties of needles to seek out. It really depends on your area and the season. Get a good field guide, pick what your can, boil for taste in a tea. If it’s to your liking, use fresh, cleaned and cooked at 225 F or better.

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  • Nice answer, although OP asks specifically about gravlax - anything you can add on that? If so edit your answer.
    – Luciano
    Nov 10 '21 at 9:38

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