We cooked these on our Wildfood weekend course this week as an accompaniment to venison and elderberry sausages, wild herb polenta and rowan gravy. They added great flavour and texture.
Simple to make and completely delicious, the only problem is not to eat them all before dinner time!!
A native biennial, taking two years to flower. The young leaves are grey/green and hairy, as the leaves get bigger they retain their grey/green colour and rough texture but look less hairy. The pale stalks and leaf ribs often have a purplish hue. The leaves are big and roughly heart shaped, they are longer that they are wide – up to 50cm long. The plant regrows in its second spring and sends up its flowering stalk. This is up to 1.3m tall, with smaller leaves and has round purplish flowers. These become the familiar hooked burrs that catch on clothes.
Make sure you always check local by-laws and get the landowners permission before digging up any root.
Scrub your burdock roots with a stiff brush or scourer in a bowlful of water.
Using a speed peeler, ‘peel’ off ribbons from the cleaned roots, turning between cuts. The resultant ribbons should immediately be submerged in a bowl of water containing 2 teaspoons of vinegar, (this will stop the ribbons turning brown).
To cook the crisps, pat them dry and deep fry in oil at 180 degrees C until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
Thank you to all who attended our Wildfood weekend September 2014.