Above: Put flowers and leaves in a clean vessel and pour Ume vinegar over the mix. The ratio should be three blossoms to one leaf, with enough vinegar for them to be barely submerged beneath the weight.
Above: Let sit for another three days. Drain, then spread leaves and blossoms on a bamboo or straw mat. Let them dry for a day in a shaded spot, preferably on a warm day. Pack them in salt to store.
Above: Seal and store in refrigerator; they will keep about one year.
Rinse before use as you would capers. According to Louesa: “The pickles have a beautiful ume, salty, floral characteristic, unlike anything else, and Sylvan uses them in many ways: as garnish for fish, in onigiri with ikura, or dried and ground to make sakura salt. He most recently served cherry blossom salt with monkey faced eel tempura, for a dinner at Scribe vineyards.”
We’d like to know: Do you recommend any summer blooms to pickle?
Photography by Chloe Aftel