Japanese Knotweed – if you can’t beat it, eat it. Here’s a recipe from our new book on foraging for edible wild plants, out in October.

Japanese knotweed

(Fallopia japonica)

A weed that strikes fear into the heart of any gardener, owing to its rampant and invasive nature, Japanese knotweed is nevertheless a very useful culinary plant. It is a good source of many essential minerals, particularly calcium, and contains large quantities of the plant polyphenol resveratrol, also present in grapes and berries. It has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Knotweed tart – Serves about 6 Approximate preparation time: 1 hour

  • 400g (14oz) young Japanese knotweed shoots, cut into bite-sized lengths
  • 200g (7oz) pastry
  • 150g (5 oz) brown or demerara sugar
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp cream

1 Parboil the knotweed shoots for a minute or two, then drain.

2. Line a 20cm /9″ tin with the pastry

3 Mix the sugar with flour, eggs and cream to make a paste.

4 Fill the pastry case with the knotweed then spread the paste over the top.

Bake in a hot oven (220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7) for 10 minutes, then lower the heat and cook for another 20 minutes

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