This root vegetable is most popular in Asia, where it originated, and is eaten like a potato in some cultures. It is also used as an alternative to artichokes because of its similar flavor. The burdock plant is part of the thistle family; it is known for its small purple flowers and tiny burrs, which have helped spread the plant to many different parts of the world.

Farmers harvest young burdock in the late spring, before its flowers appear, when it is tender and has a subtle flavor. Burdock skin is edible, but be sure to properly scrub the root clean of any dirt before cooking with a vegetable scrubber or coarse copper scouring pad. Cut the burdock in thin discs or julienne into fine strips. Parboil burdock to remove its bitterness, on a low heat for a slow simmer for twenty minutes until tender. After this step, burdock can be sautéed in a liquid with other vegetables, or substituted for artichokes in soups and salads.

In Season

July, August, September, October, November, December

Available From

Varieties Available

Articles about Burdock

August 01, 2014

Rabbits, Pigs, and Herbs in Marin County

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Devil’s Gulch Ranch and Allstar Organics in Nicasio.

July 31, 2014

Volunteers of the Month: Summer Interns

CUESA says farewell and thanks to our summer interns, Janelle, Henry, and, Sarah.

July 25, 2014

The Great Tomato Debate

Confused by terms like heirloom, open-pollinated, hybrid, and GMO? We’ll help you sort them out.

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »