Braised Hogweed Shoots with Crispy Sorrel Crumbs
Hogweed has a deliciously delicate, grassy flavour with a slight mineral undertone. The young, tender shoots, lightly cooked and buttered make a good side vegetable just as they are – but we like to elevate this classic forager’s dish by adding crisp, tangy breadcrumbs as a crunchy contrast to the soft, velvety greens. Pick the hogweed shoots before the leaves are fully open.
- About 200g young hogweed shoots (about 2 handfuls)
- 25g butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CRISPY SORREL CRUMBS
- 4 medium-sized leaves of common sorrel
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 60g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C. To prepare the crispy crumbs, put the sorrel leaves and olive oil into a food processor or blender and blitz well. Put the breadcrumbs and parmesan into a bowl, then trickle over the sorrel oil. Toss the breadcrumbs to mix the oil through evenly, then spread them out on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Rinse the hogweed shoots and put them in a heavy pan with the water still clinging to them. Set the pan over a medium heat and cook the hogweed shoots, with a lid on, for 5 minutes.
- Draw the pan off the heat, and pop the crumbs into the oven. Bake for 4 minutes (we recommend you put on a timer, to avoid a tray of burnt crumbs!)
- Put the pan of hogweed shoots back over the heat and cook for a few moments to boil off any excess water. Add the butter, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the shoots are soft. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
- Turn the hogweed out into a warm serving dish, scatter with the hot crumbs, and serve.
Recipe by Wild Food UK; development and photos by Otherwise