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

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.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


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 »