I picked some Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) , enough for my favorite spring treat. Knotweed is an introduced and invasive species, one which the state of Washington would love to get rid of, so I do my part by eating as much as I can before it gets too big and tough. I only pick the young shoots, no higher than my knee, or bigger around than my thumb. I clean off the leaves, wash and cut into inch long sections. It can then be added to your favorite Apple Crisp recipe. Mine goes something like this - its a very forgiving recipe, so the measurements don't have to be exact. Knotweed has a taste similar to Rhubarb.
(Be sure you have properly identified Japanese Knotweed before you harvest it. Folks who can't eat Rhubarb have told me that they can't eat this plant, either, so use your common sense and try a small amount to see if it agrees with you before you go crazy.)
- One package of frozen strawberries, thawed until they can be cut into halves or quarters.
- Three apples, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (can be any type - I use what I have on hand)
- An equal (more or less) amount of chopped knotweed.
- Sugar to taste - about 1/4 cup for me
Top with a mixture of about 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup packed brown sugar, with a stick of butter cut in. The mixture will be crumbly and dry.
Bake in oven until the fruit is done - about 30- 45 minutes. Top warm crisp with vanilla ice cream for a real treat.
It's easy, and a bit tart...and a good way to use a noxious weed! (Jonathan tells me he has used the leaves in stirfries, but I haven't tried that yet.)