This was a fun (and tasty) dinner I made this week. The best part was that my parents were visiting and had to eat it! My dad is a farmer, and he thinks I’m crazy for intentionally growing “weeds” that he sprays to keep out of his fields. Well, my dad the farmer ate burdock and LIKED it. HA! (Weeds =1, Dad = 0)
This is a burdock root. It is really long – this is actually one root cut into four pieces for easier handling. You can either gather your burdock wild or purchase it at an Asian market. It has many uses as a medicinal herb, from supporting the kidneys and liver to aiding digestion. It is full of antioxidants and minerals.
I used a carrot peeler to take most of the “skin” of the burdock root off, then sliced it into rounds. Burdock oxidizes pretty fast, so to keep it nice and white you need a bowl of cold water to put the slices in.
Then I peeled and cubed a sweet potato (one of my favorite veggies!). Sweet potatoes are full of lots of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and fiber.
Next I sliced a leek into thin rings. Leeks are a good source of iron, folic acid, and vitamin C.
The next bit is a two-step process. I used my steamer to soften the sweet potato and burdock pieces – about 10 minutes. While they were pre-cooking, I added the leeks to a heated wok (with olive oil) and began to stir fry them. Then I added the burdock and sweet potatoes, some salt and pepper, and rosemary from my garden.
Once the veggies were all cooked through, I served them over a wild rice mix.
My dad and my husband were both astounded to discover that “weeds” don’t taste that bad. My mom and my kids still need a little work… 😉
(FYI – you can eat a few burdock slices as you cook – they are nice and crunchy when they are raw.)
For more information, I recommend the following sources: