Comfrey has been used for thousands of years, both medicinally and for food. It has an excellent nutritional profile that includes high levels of protein. Comfrey’s protein content is second only to that of the soy plant. While recent reports suggest that it has some mild toxic effects, many believe that its benefits outweigh its risks. While it is far from a common food in the modern era, it is becoming more popular among foodies. To enjoy comfrey’s benefits, check out some of these delicious comfrey uses in the kitchen.
Comfrey leaves have a cucumber flavor that makes them great in salads. Use them either in addition to cucumber or as a cucumber alternative. Be sure to use younger leaves — the ones that are less than six inches long — as the older ones are often bitter and unpleasantly hairy.
In place of asparagus
Cooked comfrey shoots have a similar flavor to flavor to asparagus. Use the shoots as an asparagus substitute and use them in the same recipes.
In stir-fried dishes
Comfrey does a great job as the leafy element in a stir-fry. Use in place of or alongside other vegetables like bok choi, spinach, or napa cabbage. Keep in mind that it should be cooked quickly if you want the best results — overcooked comfrey is bitter.
Comfrey leaves are similar to spinach in that they are easy and quick to steam. To steam comfrey leaves, wash them and place them in a dry pan without allowing them to dry off. Cover the leaves and cook over medium heat for about five minutes. The water on the leaves from washing them plus the water within the leaves should be sufficient to steam them.
To make fritters
When in doubt about how to use a vegetable, one easy way to tackle it is to smother it in breading and fat. Fritters are a great way to sneak leafy greens past picky eaters. Comfrey responds well to this approach and fritters are a traditional way to prepare this vegetable.
Add comfrey to juices to get fresh cucumber-like flavor notes as well a to improve the nutritional content. Other herbs that you might want to use in drinks along with comfrey include mint and lemon balm.
Comfrey is not one of the traditional ingredients in a ratatouille, but you can use it nonetheless. Add it to a standard recipe or use it in place of the zucchini component.
Comfrey responds well to pickling much like the cucumber. When pickling comfrey leaves, use the younger ones to avoid bitterness.
You can use comfrey as a tea herb on its own. In England, it is prepared in the same way as regular tea: with cream and sugar. Steep the comfrey leaves in hot water and then sweeten to taste. Another option is to add it to tea and consume iced or hot. Warning: While many experts claim comfrey tea to be safe, others believe it to be dangerous due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids it contains.
In baked goods
By grinding dried comfrey leaves, you can get a flour-like powder. You may also be able to find comfrey powder in some stores. Add this powder to wheat flour to make dough for bread. You can also use comfrey flour in batters for cakes and muffins. Comfrey in baked goods will not only make them an interesting shade of green, but it will also enhance their nutritional value as well.