Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Using Borage

What is borage?
That's usually the first question people ask when it's mentioned.
Some folks have it in their "butterfly" gardens since it has beautiful
purple flowers that bees and butterflies alike are drawn to.
Attracting pollinators in itself is a worthing reason, but there's more.
It's edible!
Believe it or not, those prickly leaves are the secret ingredient
to so many delicious dishes.
You can of course use it fresh during summer months,
but you can also dehydrate it to use during the cold months.
And, how do we use it?
Around here, I try to keep a couple of quart jars of the dried leaves
in the pantry.
We add it to spaghetti - chopped up, in addition to your regular herbs.
If you are making a pot roast, toss a couple whole leaves in
on top of your usual seasonings.
A couple leaves added to the crock pot of stew sure doesn't hurt anything.
And, our latest favorite is -
Mr. LB chopped some up and added it to his homemade sausage.
I think he has just about perfected his recipe - Yum!

What it does~
Some claim it tastes like cucumber.
I can't imagine eating it in a salad.  The leaves are furry/prickly.
When cooked, it's similar to most greens and is no longer prickly.
When used in addition to your favorite herbs and spices,
it seems to meld and enhance the flavors.
It's like the sound of an orchestra when the members are
warming up individually vs. the sound when they play together-
only in flavor rather than sounds.
It doesn't seem to add it's own distinct flavor, 
but brings out the best of all the others.
How it grows:
In our garden, it has become a blessed weed.
We love it, but it drives us crazy.
The first time I planted it, I (foolishly) planted a row in the garden.
It was beautiful, but we had way more than enough.
So, the next year, thinking I was smart,
I planted 4 seeds.
When they came up, so did a bunch of "weeds" that looked identical.
Yep - borage. 
For the past couple years?? I've not planted any borage seeds.
We have beans and borage, tomatoes and borage, chives and borage-
you get the picture.
Plant a couple seeds somewhere you need a whole patch of 
pretty purple flowers, but probably not in your garden.
Borage is one plant we will probably always have around.
We can't imagine cooking without it.
Maybe give it a whirl and let me know what you think.  

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. I have not heard of it before, I am not sure if I have seen it before either.
    I love hearing about the "weeds" we have growing in our yard that are edible :)

  2. I LOVE Borage too!! I love walking though the garden and just reaching over and picking some of the flower and eating them. Love the cucumber taste they have. God bless


  3. I grew it at my old house and its so pretty! I have some seeds for next year here, we hope to have bees so I'm collecting plant seeds that they like.

  4. I first read about borage in a chapter book in our homeschool where the countess Juliana VanStolberg (who was an herbalist and "mother" of the Netherlands) claimed it helped for the mood. That sounds like a great herb to me! :) We have a jar in our pantry too! But I really need to try and grow it like you have!

  5. I have Rosemary Gladstones book on Medicinal Herbs, and this is one of the plants she loves. I enjoyed your post on it, and while I have no borage this year, I hope to plant some next year. :)

  6. We have borage growing like weeds in our veggie garden too and we love it ! It does taste like cucumber and we often use the flowers to adorn deviled eggs or toss them into salads. they're edible and so pretty. Our honeybees love them too.

    Never thought of drying it, but will now !

  7. I fell in love with borage this year. My favorite is a bacon/chicken/ranch wrap with borage flowers. My nieces thought it was grand eating flowers. Thanks for swinging by my blog, because now I have found yours and I love it!