Cooking with Comfrey

Today I’ve been eating a comfrey ratatouille. This was partly inspired by Ivan Van Rooyen’s comment on my post ‘Is comfrey edible?” He said “My family and I have been eating comfrey for more than 25 years, about every two weeks when the leaves are good over the summer months. I got to know it 25 years ago when still living in South Africa were I grew up. My parents had a large patch in their vegetable garden. My mom cooked it like spinach and mixed it with potatoes and onions. This mix goes on a piece of toast with some tomato sauce (not catchup) and cheese on top and in the oven for a few minutes like a thick pizza. We’ve had it like that ever since.” It made me determined to explore comfrey as a leaf vegetable a but further. While standing in front of a big patch of common comfrey (Symphytum officinale) this morning, I recalled Ivan’s words but wrongly remembered “potatoes and onions” as “tomatoes and onions”. So here is how to make a very tasty comfrey-tomatoe ratatouille sauce.

2 medium onions
2 handfuls comfrey leaves
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 glass red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 packet of soba or udon noodles

Finely chop the onions and fry until soft in the olive oil. Chop the comfrey leaves and add, stirring, until wilted. Add the chopped tomatoes, red wine, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 12 more minutes with the lid on, then take the lid off, add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until the noodles are cooked al dente and the rest is of a sauce-like consistency. Serve while still hot. 

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