Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Knotweed - not just a weed!

We made strawberry knotweed pie yesterday. Who knew you could eat that stuff? It grows at every street corner around here, a hard-to-beat invasive species that hailed from Asia, and settled here a little too well.

On the upside, it's healthy (even some medicinal benefits) and abundant, so makes for a great foraging prey. I followed the recipe by Russ Cohen, published in his book 'Wild plants I have known and eaten'. He grew up in my town, as it turns out! The knowledge applies locally for sure. Find more fun knotweed info here, but really, read the book. Great resource!

The first task was to harvest, peel and slice the stalks. It is good to pick the younger parts of the stalks, something we had to learn the tough way :-)

I made my favorite pie crust, enough for an 11in pie (why bother with an eensy 9in pie?? I will never understand). Then I stirred together

  • 4 cups of sliced knotweed
  • 3 cups of sliced, frozen strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
in a bowl, and filled that into the crust.

I popped the top layer on, and baked at 375 with speedbake (convection) for 45 minutes.

The verdict: We got some of the woodsy bits of knotweed, maybe we're too far into the season, or maybe we just need to cut the top parts of the stalks instead of the thicker bottom parts. That was the downside. The upside - a wonderfully rounded, more complex than rhubarb, flavor that we really loved! I can't wait to do this again with younger stalks. Served with vanilla ice cream, while still hot (please excuse the picture, we just couldn't wait for the filling to solidify a little more), a huge spring time treat!

1 comment:

  1. I was eyeing a stand of it on one of my many travels through town today and though pie. Tomorrow if I get a chance I'll get us some!