Braised Burdock with Dandelion Greens, Garlic and Ginger

What You'll Need

Equipment
Ingredients
  • 4 burdock root pieces, about 6” long
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt to taste, or 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 tsp chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • minced ginger 2 tsp
  • juice of half a lemon

Burdock, let’s just say it, is a witchy kind of root. It is nearly black, lumpy, thin, and strange-looking. But its intimidating appearance masks a mellow, nutty flavor, sweet and earthy and crisp. It’s best eaten cooked, or shredded very finely raw, as the uncooked texture resembles parsnip more than carrot. Braising is a fantastic way to invite this nourishing root into your cooking. Aside from the flavor, it is high in soluble fiber and antioxidants, and is known to act a detoxifiying agent for the blood, liver, and kidneys. Michelle McKenzie, in her beautiful book Dandelion and Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs, first taught me to cook the root in this way; the recipe that follows is based loosely on hers, although I have added garlic and ginger, and the dandelion greens, as I think the roots benefit both visually and texturally from the contrast of the bitter greens. Plus, we’ve got a theme going in this issue.

Directions

Prepare the ingredients. Cut the burdock into long coins, or rustic, bite-sized pieces. slice burdockChop the dandelion greens and stems into 1’ pieces. chop greensMince garlic and ginger.
chopped garlicHeat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over moderately high heat.
heat oilAdd the burdock pieces and fry until the pale center of the roots have turned golden. After the first sides are browned, roll ‘em over with tongs or a spatula, to caramelize the other side, too. This takes about 10 minutes.
brown burdockLower the heat, and add a couple pinches of sea salt, or 2 tsp soy sauce.
Pour the water into the pan and cover; cook, covered, for 5-7 minutes.
braiseUncover the pan, and add the chopped dandelion greens, minced garlic, chili flakes, and minced ginger. cook garlicCook, uncovered, until the burdock is tender and the greens are soft and silky.
cook until silky
Squeeze half a lemon over the top. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
squeeze of lemonServe with miso mushrooms, over brown rice with other vegetables and soft-boiled eggs.
serve

Over to You

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