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Bodacious Burdock
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Vegan Side Dishes
Bodacious Burdock
Burdock RootBurdock looks like a giant dirty brownish-white carrot... it's ugliness is not to be judged before trying this incredible root veggie. In selecting burdock also known as gobo, the creamer the color, the fresher the root. The exterior bark is tissue paper thin and comes off by simply scrubbing with a sponge under water or use a potato peeler to scrap off the exterior as you would a carrot.

The taste of burdock is close to an artichoke... try using it in pasta dishes, in soups, or even as a pizza topping.

Asian markets usually have burdock/gobo wrapped in plastic, stacked in a corner of their produce section. Health food stores and farmer's markets have also started to carry burdock.

Ingredients
2 burdock/gobo roots, grated
4 organic carrots, grated
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamari
1/4 cup water

Tools
Borner Thin Julienne Vegetable Shredder
heavy bottom skillet, cast iron or non-stick Scanpan
measuring spoons
measuring cup
potato peeler

    Borner Julienne Shredder
Borner Thin Julienne Vegetable Shredder

To achieve the fine julienne slices that are seen in dishes in Japanese and fine restaurant dishes, I love this grater by the Borner Company. It makes fine shreds of any hard vegetable like carrots, cucumber, zucchini, jicama and radishes. You'll want to use a guard that is sold with Borner Mandolin so that your skin doesn't become part of your shreds. This grater is SHARP! And for cleaning I use a small brush to help scrape out any pieces left wedged in the tiny stainless steel blades.Borner cutting edgesBorner Cutting Teeth on the Julienne Vegetable Shredder/Grate

Burdock Root Interior
The Interior of the Burdock Root

Taste, Selection and Storage
Seems that burdock root is best braised and has a tasty mild sweet flavor. A dirty exterior of burdock is not bad. The American variety is short... 4 inches to 10 inches. The Japanese variety are usually 3 feet long. Just make sure that they are crisp like a carrot... if they are limp, they are NOT FRESH!

Once home, I cut the long Japanese burdock into lengths that will fit into a gallon size freezer plastic bag to preserve its freshness. It's best to cook the burdock as soon as possible to preserve the flavors.

Preparation
Peel the Burdock Root
Use a potato peeler and peel the burdock as you would a carrot.Peel the Burdock Root
Peel the Burdock Root with a Potato Peeler

Grate the Burdock Root
I like to grate the peeled burdock with the Börner Thin Julienne Vegetable Shredder. It makes matchstick shreds that are thin and beautiful. Grated Burdock Root
Finely Grated Burdock Root

Place the grated burdock into a skillet that has been coated with a non-stick spray to prevent sticking.

The burdock will take several minutes to cook and I add 1/4 cup of water to help the saute get started.

The Carrots
Using the same Borner Grater, grate the same amount of peeled organic carrots as the burdock and add to the sauté pan.

Sauté & Season
Sauté the burdock and carrots over medium heat until they are softened, but not overdone.

Seaon with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon toasted black or white sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil.

Toss until combined and the sugar starts to caramelize... do not overcook.

Serve hot!Bodacious BurdockPresentation
Bodacious Burdock makes a great accompaniment with sticky rice, tamari sauteed tofu and baby bok choy or sauteed asparagus. I've even served this with just sticky rice for a quick satisfying lunch dish.

Betty Morgan, Chez Bettay, the Vegan Gourmet
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"Bodacious Burdock!"
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