Sunday, May 26, 2013

marvelous milkweed...crop # 1

If I could only eat one wild edible plant it would be milkweed. (So glad no one makes me choose.)

It's a superstar; not only beautiful to look at in the garden, but delicious in many ways.  The shoots come first, tastier than the finest green beans.  Next come the florets, unopened flower buds that look a lot like broccoli but taste a whole lot better.  The fully opened flowers, laden with nectar, make a superb syrup (think cocktails and sorbet!).  And finally, the small, young pods are another great vegetable.

Traditional literature says to boil milkweed in several changes of water, but that's not necessary.  Boiling makes the plant tender and delicious; you'll need anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on how young and flexible the raw stem is.  Cooking also takes away the milky white sap that the plant produces whenever it's broken.

Here's a suggestion for preparing the young shoots.  Check back in 4-6 weeks for the next in the series: milkweed florets!


At May 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Mark said...

Let me at 'em! Tis the season. Yum.


At May 27, 2013 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

Thanks for the milkweed flower syrup suggestion - haven't tried that yet!

At May 27, 2013 at 3:42 PM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Mmmm, yummy! Planting 2 species this week in my own garden, and I have a third plant (accidental seedling) I hope you can ID for me when we finally get together!

I am hoping A. incarnata & A. purpurascens are (at least) half as tasty as good ol' milkweed...


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