Juniper Berries

In the Fall as the juniper berries start turning from green to purple you'd better pick them before the birds swoop in and devour them all. We've used juniper berries before but not fresh berries, they've always been dried. It just so happens we have an abundance of them growing outside of the kitchen so I decided to roast them to make a juniper oil.

For more than 300 years, juniper berries have been a popular flavoring agent for gin. The word gin comes from the Dutch word for juniper, "geniver."

We think the flavor of juniper could make the perfect accompaniment to butternut squash pasta, acorn squash gnocchi or roasted beets.

One interesting observation; they need to be covered while roasting because some of the berries will explode, and I me really explode. If you look at the side of the sheet pan in this picture you'll see some juniper dust, that's from the berries bursting into total disintegration.

Grind the roasted berries into a dust, add to olive oil and steep on a low heat for 15 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth.