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Burdock stalks.

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I only heard about burdock stalks this winter.

And I've been focused on wild foods this spring, cos I wrote a wild food booklet earlier this year. Burdock leaf stalks (or flowerstalks) aren't included, as I hadn't tried them before now ...

So today, I went cutting some of the copious burdock leaves from among my rhubarb. (Both rhubarb and burdock are right next to a busy dirt track, where kids walk all the time. I believe in teaching people the difference between rhubarb and other plants by tasting.)

Picking tip: if you have long hair, keep a hat on. It takes a long time to comb out burdock seed balls. Don't go with your woolen sweater on, either, nevermind how cold it is: that, too, will get covered in tenacious seed heads from last year's flower stalks.

I think burdock stalks must be one of the easiest wild food to pick in quantity. I went in there, and five minutes later I had a large bunch of long leaf stalks. (They're not making flower stalks yet ... I'll try those later).

In the kitchen, I cut them up into 2-3 cm (about 1") long bits, poured them into boiling water, and let them simmer for a while.

While the leaf tea is bitter, the stalks aren't. Who'd've thunk?

A lovely addition to today's meat'n'nettle'n'carrot stew.

And of course, the leaf can be used, too.

Related entries: Burdock root - Burdock seed - Burdock leaf