For the past months, I have been shopping at Farmigo for local organic produce. It’s more convenient for me time-wise than going to farmers’ markets. I like to chose the Farmer’s Choice bag – I love being surprised by what is in season. This week, Willow Wisp Organic Farms surprised me with burdock! I never cooked or ate burdock roots. I never even knew they were edible in other form than tea. I remember preparing a very concentrated decoction, quite a few years ago, for detox purposes. One of my friends who was living on the outskirts of my hometown brought me the fresh burdock that I used for this purpose. The root decoction is supposed to be drunk mixed in equal parts with milk, at least that is what the old herbal medicine and landscape design book that I happily scored in an antique bookstore was recommending. Burdock root is said to also tone the smooth muscles in our body, hence its use in post-partum recovery.
On this occasion I found out from one of my favorite Romanian blogs that the leaves are edible too, being used sometimes instead of cabbage in the famous Romanian rolls – sarmale (a version of dolma, usually filled with a mix of meat and rice and boiled in thin tomato sauce with herbs).
I started looking for fast and healthy burdock recipes and things got even better: I discovered that it is a staple of Japanese cuisine. I decided to roast them in the toaster oven, splash them with soy sauce and sesame oil and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
In what concerns the fate of the other veggies, the choice was simple: stir-fried baby bok choi and baby carrots with ginger, leafy green salad made with mustard greens and red oakleaf lettuce, pickled Japanese turnips, and a huge batch of pesto made out of carrot greens, turnip leaves, the petioles of mustard greens and green garlic with walnuts.