Turkish-Style Burdock Root; Photo - Danielle Sucher

Burdock root, also known as gobo, tastes something like a nutty artichoke potato. The long, slender, flexible roots don't look like much, but they have a lot of flavor if you slice them thin and braise them to bring it out. Don't bother peeling off their thin skin, which is both tasty and good for you.

When we went foraging with Wildman Steve Brill last weekend, he brought this dish as part of his packed lunch, and shared it with the entire group. It was so good, we were relieved to hear that he had posted the recipe to his website the night before!

This style of preparing burdock root is so simple that it can be hard to understand where all the flavor is coming from. Served with soupy rice simmered with a bit of bacon in chicken stock, this dish made for a wonderful dinner a few nights ago.

Turkish-Style Burdock Root; Photo - Danielle Sucher

Turkish-Style Burdock Root
(adapted from Wildman Steve Brill)
2-1/2 C very thin burdock root slices
2 C water, or as needed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 big shallots (or an equivalent quantity of small ones), chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp minced fresh dill weed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, lid on, for about 30-45 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15-30 minutes, or until most of the water is evaporated or absorbed and the burdock has reached the balance of crisp and tender that pleases you best.

Shopping Guide

Burdock - You can purchase burdock root at places like the Park Slope Food Co-op, Whole Foods, or vegetable stands in Chinatown, or you can dig some up yourself in Prospect Park for free by following Wildman Steve Brill's instructions.

Shallots and dill are in season right now, and you can pick them up at your nearest greenmarket (which you can locate by checking out the 2007 greenmarket map).