Made with the fresh flowers and leaves of Matricaria matricarioides (a.k.a. M. discoidea), the flavor of pineappleweed cordial is both herby and fruity. It’s like a cross between chamomile and – you guessed it – pineapple.
It’s no coincidence that pineappleweed has things in common with the various plant species known as chamomile. They are all close cousins botanically.
All are low-growing plants that prefer full sun. They have feathery foliage and flowerheads that include a domed, yellow-green center made up of many tiny individual flowers. Unlike the chamomiles, pineappleweed does not have white petal-like ray flowers surrounding the central domes.
Look for pineappleweed in lawns and other open fields, driveways, and roadsides. It is flowering and ready to harvest from mid-spring through early fall. Snipping or pinching off the flowering tops of the plants does not kill the plants, but actually encourages more prolific growth.
Now about that cordial…
Pineapple Weed Cordial Recipe
Makes 1 1/2 cups (about 6 servings); recipe can be multiplied
1 1/2 cups vodka
3/4 cup fresh pineappleweed flowers and leaves, divided
3 tablespoons light honey such as clover blossom (or anything not too strongly flavored; you could also use agave nectar)
1. Put 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the fresh pineappleweed into a clean glass jar. Pour the vodka over the pineappleweed and cover the jar.
2. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of the pineappleweed into a small glass jar. Pour the honey over the pineapleweed and cover the jar.
3. Place both jars in a warm, sunny spot for 6-8 hours. A sunny window will do if you don’t have outdoor space.
4. Strain the honey through a fine-mesh sieve into a jar or (preferably) something with a pour spout. The warmth of the sun will have liquified the honey, making it easier to strain. But don’t worry if some honey is still gumming up the sieve: the next step will take care of that.
5. Strain the infused vodka through the same sieve you strained the honey in. The vodka will dissolve any remaining honey on its way through.
6. Transfer to a bottle and cork or seal tightly. Serve chilled.
Natural Born Heroes (Foraging video with Born to Run author Christopher McDougall)
“This is an essential book for anyone interested in food preservation.” – Ellen Zachos
“A book that wild food gatherers of all skill levels will want to own.” - Sam Thayer