Stir It Up
From time to time we will post recipes from our chefs...
Dandelion and Burdock Drink
With thanks to Adele Nozedar author of ‘Foraging with kids’, ‘The Hedgerow Handbook’ and owner of Brecon Beacons Foraging for giving me permission to use her recipe.
Preparing the Burdock and Dandelion roots
*You will need to harvest and dry out the roots of both the Burdock and the Dandelion.
- The best way to harvest the Burdock roots without breaking them too much is to first choose a wet day, so the soil will be easier to break up, and then to dig a trench around the plant so that you can access the root more easily. The roots should be harvested in the autumn of the first year of growth – that is, before the distinctive burrs have appeared.
- At first, the roots are white; on exposure to the air, they turn yellow.
- Wash the root, then peel away the bitter rind.
- Grate, and soak in water for 20 minutes or so.
- Drain well.
- For the Dandelion roots try to dig up as much of the long tap root as possible. The spindly bits are fine to harvest, too.
- Remove the leaves.
- Break off as much of the clumpy mud as possible, then put the roots in a bucket.
- Rinse them repeatedly in cold running water.
- Chop the roots either in a food processor or with a sharp knife. Put the chopped roots into a bowl of clean water, agitating them with your hands – the water will go slightly milky. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.
- To dry out your roots, set your oven to a very low heat (110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼). If you have a range cooker, use the coolest part.
- Spread the roots in an even layer on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. It should take about 2 hours to dry the roots thoroughly. They will feel brittle when they’re done and will break easily.