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Monday, April 20, 2009

Knotweed Crisp

The weather has been lovely here the past few days, and I enjoyed getting out on Saturday to play with the Tracking Club...They make me be a station master, which is kind of fun, and really scary...I don't feel like I know anywhere near enough to tell other people anything about tracking. My station was a nice set of rat tracks in the sand on the riverbank.

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.)

Linda's Strawberry/Apple/Knotweed Crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 91/2 x 13 pan. In that pan, toss:
  • 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.)

1 comment:

  1. Here's the post I made a couple years back about the big knotweed processing time we had:

    It reminded me that we also put the leaves in a couple of soups that turned out pretty good as well, and lots of options for the stalks.


My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"