Burdock (Arctium lappa) Probably everyone knows: some are more like a medicinal plant, some like a weed, and some even like a wonderful dietary vegetable that is grown in Japan along with daikon. It is found in the wild from the western to the eastern borders of our very rather large country. Why does it make sense to grow it under controlled conditions? Because this plant often grows in landfills and heavily weedy soils, scientifically it is called a ruderal weed. And from such soil, he can collect a lot of harmful substances, for example, heavy metals and, accordingly, such a vegetable or medicine is unlikely to want to be used.
So where to start. Burdock seeds can be collected from wild plants, although there is a variety included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements - Samurai. To begin with, given his love for everything fat and nutritious, the soil must be carefully dug up and at the same time well-rotted compost must be added, approximately 2-4 buckets per 1 m2. In general, preparation and fertilization is somewhat similar to that for root crops. You can sow seeds before winter on a garden bed prepared in this way. But with podzimny sowing there is a danger of a snowy feast of mice. Therefore, if there is such a problem on the site, either you need to trample snow over the crops (like tree-trunk circles in the garden), or sow in early spring with stratified seeds.
The stratification is carried out as follows: the seeds are mixed with sand, moistened and placed in the basement or lower compartment of the refrigerator for 100 days. Stratification temperature - from 0 to + 4оС. Seeds are sown regardless of the sowing time with a distance between rows of 60-70 cm. In a row, the distance between seeds is 3-5 cm. Considering that not all of them will sprout, it will be just right. If you sow too thick, then the crops will have to be thinned out like carrots. Shoots appear in about 10-15 days. During the season, it is advisable to feed the plants with nitrogen fertilizers 2-3 times with an interval of 1 month. It can be ammonium nitrate or urea, approximately 20-30 g per 1 m2. If you are a supporter of eco-farming, then you can use fermented nettle infusion, which is also an excellent source of available nitrogen.
In the fall, you can dig out the harvest. To do this, you first need to cut off the aboveground mass, in the first year of life these are leaves. This is a valuable medicinal raw material that will also need to be processed immediately.
Fresh leaves are the most active, and in recent years, the use of juice from them is gaining popularity. To do this, the washed leaves are passed through a conventional juicer. In order to preserve the resulting juice, it is diluted 1: 1 with vodka. This dosage form can be stored in a refrigerator in a well-sealed container for a long time. It is used as a hepatoprotective and detoxifying agent. This remedy can be taken in 1-2 tablespoons when taking potent drugs with a lot of side effects (those from the area - one is treated, the other is crippled). Such juice is useful for skin diseases (including externally), for inflammatory diseases, especially arthritis, including rheumatoid, with diabetes and high cholesterol, with eczema, as well as an immunomodulator and general tonic. It should not be regarded as a strong medicine, but rather an adjuvant that well supports the body in a weakened state.
Digging up the roots is a time consuming process because they go deep into the soil. We dig as deep as possible with a shovel so that nothing remains in the ground. After that, the roots must be washed and used either as a vegetable or for the preparation of various medicines.
All that is described above can be partially postponed for the spring, for the month of May, but it is not worth delaying - you need to put the burdock into action until the 2-3rd decade of May.By the way, the juice from May leaves is considered more useful and effective, although it will turn out much less than in the fall - after all, the leaves at the time of excavation will be still small and not fully unfolded.
Mass of nutrients with a minimum of calories
In Europe in the Middle Ages, burdock was a full-fledged vegetable crop, but then it was somehow forgotten. But since the end of the 20th century, interest in this culture has been reviving, which is associated with its dietary value - a mass of nutrients with a minimum of calories. Nutritional value of burdock (per 100 g) - only 72 kcal. The root contains 17% carbohydrates, including 2.9% sugar, 3.3% dietary fiber. A number of important amino acids are present at the root. A large assortment of B vitamins (B1 (thiamine) - 0.01 mg, B2 (riboflavin) - 0.03 mg, B3 (niacin) - 0.3 mg, B5 (pantothenic acid) - 0.321 mg, B6 - 0 , 24 mg, B9 (folic acid) - 23 mg / per 100 g of product), vitamins C, E and K, albeit in relatively small quantities. Of the macronutrients, calcium and potassium, iron and phosphorus are presented in significant amounts. It contains polyphenols, which, when oxidized in air, darken on the root cut. In this case, an iron-tannin complex is formed, which causes a darkening of the surface. For the same reason, do not dry cut burdock roots on a metal surface.
But in the East they did not forget about him. In Japanese, burdock is called gobo (牛蒡 or ゴ ボ ウ). Accordingly, if the name of the dish contains this word, then there is definitely a burdock. In Japan, salads with carrots or daikon are made from it. To do this, each of these vegetables is cut into thin strips and mixed in proportions according to individual taste. The dressing can be in the form of wasabi soy sauce. In our Russian version, you can simply fill with sour cream, and fans of Italian cuisine can use grape vinegar and olive oil for dressing. Some people don't really like the specific smell of the fresh root. To weaken it, you can soak the peeled root for 10-15 minutes in water.
In addition, burdock can be baked and fried in the same way as potatoes, and from the boiled root puree you can make a lean casserole stuffed with vegetables (fried onions, carrots, bell peppers) or minced meat. Of the various types of meat, burdock is the most harmonious with pork and poultry. The traditional miso soup with burdock and pork is excellent. It turns out unusual, but quite tasty. The next option is burdock pancakes, which are prepared in the same way as from zucchini. Burdock dishes pair well with traditional Asian spices such as ginger and turmeric. By the way, the addition of turmeric gives the dishes an interesting yellow color.
You can make burdock chips or deep-fry the root slices. You can marinate the burdock with ginger in a spicy marinade and serve as a spicy dressing.
Slightly blooming flowers can be boiled in salted water and served with an artichoke-like sauce. Of course, you won't be able to languidly pinch off one scale from the inflorescence, but the taste is generally similar.
See burdock recipes:
Rice soup with burdock leaves, lemon and sour cream
Burdock root with cream, onions and mustard
Pickled burdock stalks
Burdock leaves in batter
Young burdock leaf salad
Soup "Healer" of burdock leaves with rice
Read also Burdock and plantain are new vegetable crops.