Not quite a meal yet

7th February 2013

Spotted this solitary Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium shoot. We have already looked at Hogweed seeds in a previous blog but virtually the whole of this plant can be used almost all year round.  These young shoots which will really start to appear in March and April make one of the best spring vegetables.

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium


Unfortunately on this particular occasion this was the only one I could find, but if you can collect enough they are definitely worth trying.  There furriness makes them look unpromising and raw they have quite a strong taste and smell but once cooked or steamed for 5 minutes or so, they are transformed. The taste is mellowed and the hairy quality removed but they retain a good texture unlike so many other cooked spring greens. Simply serve with salt and pepper and a bit of butter, or like asparagus with hollandaise sauce.

As we warned in the earlier blog on Hogweed, make sure you have correctly identified it.  Also try just small amounts the first time you have it.  Some people can get UV sensitivity from the sap of this plant if they are then exposed to sunlight so it may be prudent to wear gloves whilst collecting it.


Kev Palmer

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