Spa RECIPES: Pickled Huckleberries from Idaho's Spa Ssakwa’q’n

Top off summer dishes with this healthfully tart treat.
Spa Ssakwa’q’n

Look out potatoes, another Idaho plant may be stealing your thunder: the humble huckleberry. Packed with antioxidants and deliciously tart flavors, this local gem (which resembles a blueberry) is the pride and joy of Spa Ssakwa’q’n in Worley, Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel.

“Huckleberries grow in our backyard, so they offer guests a great representation of the area,” says the spa and resort’s executive chef, Adam Hegsted.

In fact, Hegsted incorporates huckleberries into many of his signature dishes and drinks, including his personal favorite, a crowd-pleasing topping of pickled huckleberries. The recipe’s all-natural lineup of berries, herbs, spices and honey make it a tasty, yet healthy partner to any main dish: Huckleberries and juniper berries provide immunity-boosting and skin-brightening vitamins B and C, while rosemary, nutmeg and garlic offer digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Hegsted recommends serving pickled huckleberries with a protein-packed dish as a light, rejuvenating post-treatment meal. “The sauce has a sweet and savory flavor to it,” he says. “So it pairs well with chicken, beef or fish.”
Take that, spuds!—Angela Melero

Pickled Huckleberries

Makes about 5 servings

12 oz. huckleberries
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. red wine
1 sprig rosemary
1 garlic clove slice (about 1/8” thick)
2 juniper berries
¼ tsp. chile flakes
2 Tbs. honey
1 pinch nutmeg

Combine all ingredients except huckleberries into a small pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat, or microwave on high for several minutes. Transfer huckleberries into a pint jar or non-corrosive container. Pour liquid over berries and allow to set at room temperature for 48 hours. Serve with chicken, beef, fish or cheese. Cover and keep refrigerated.

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