Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Comfrey Hoecakes

I know there's some controversy about whether it's ok to consume comfrey leaves or not.  So anyone considering that question should do what they are most comfortable with only after doing their own research. 

I've decided for myself to use the leaves in small quantities since it may help me with upper respiratory healing issues, which seem to be my weaker health area.  I use a comfrey leaf (they're large) quite often among the other forage herbs we include in our green-and-berry smoothies. 

I read somewhere comfrey leaves can be made into fritters.  For an experiment tonight, I decided to try making a different variation on the fritter and made hoecakes instead...my hoecakes are simply pancake batter inclusive of some cornmeal, which makes it light and a bit different texture.  Plus, I'm southern born and bred, so cornbread usually figures in somewhere just like cold iced tea does :) 

 Anyway, I took a few comfrey leaves, cut the flat leaf parts off the stems, rolled them up like a big cigar and sliced them thin (chiffonade style) and then chopped those bits fine till it was all in very very small pieces.   I used a basic pancake batter, stirred in some pre-mixed cornbread mix, added in the chopped comfrey, and cooked some up in a hot skillet like small pancakes to accompany our dinner this evening.  I had omitted any sweetener in the batter, so it was a nice side serving to go with savory things, served still warm.  There was a nice flavor, as the comfrey is very mild.

I think this might be a way I'll use chopped pumpkin leaves, squash leaves, or okra leaves (all of which are edible and nutritious but not commonly cooked here in the US) in the future.  Comfrey leaves have sort of a mucilagenous quality to them, as does okra.  It's not noticeable when prepared as a savory pancake of sorts.

I also found mention somewhere that the comfrey leaves can be steeped in vinegar... might try that to see how it tastes and to include in some homemade vinaigrette.

Mmmm...playing with the weeds and herbs :)

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