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41 responses to “The Courage to Cook with Borage”

  1. Roya

    I’ve only ever eaten the flowers, and i just ripped out my full grown plant so it would quit choking out my thai basil.

    I imagine I’ll have more to work with soon, if my seeds have sown:)

  2. RobbingPeter

    Borage was a common herb grown throughout the Middle Ages, and there are quite a few Medieval recipes that call for it’s use. But primarily it was grown for it’s flowers.

    When I watched Top Chef and heard Collicho say that there are no truly blue food I was all, like, you are so wrong. With the Medieval obsession with coloring and disguising foods, borage was essential as a blue colorant. It is totally edible and will dye things a bright blue color.

    Now, this necessitates that you allow more borage to come to flower – but I guess you could pick it before it goes to seed. 😉

  3. Ryan

    What about usage in a cocktail? A light, refreshing vodka and borage spritzer might be nice.

  4. islandexile

    The flowers are beautiful. They’re great sprinkled in a salad. They would be pretty garnishing an ice cream or an ice. (I know you were dealing with seedlings, but I had to mention.)

  5. Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    – Omelette (lots, finely shredded, don’t forget some cheese. It goes into the eggs, not a stuffing)
    – fritters
    – use the leaves to wrap dolmas, instead of grape leaves
    – gratin with a little cream, sauteed onion and fresh bread cream

    chimichurri, though, that’s a mighty idea!

    (and borage does not grow easily for me, I can tell you that)

  6. adele

    Wow. I’m impressed.

    I imagine you could make borage syrup to put in drinks… borage lemonade, perhaps?

  7. Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    fritters: fry like sage leaves. Just a tempura batter (or flour & water which is what I do), coat the leaves. Slide in hot oil. Remove as soon as the batter is golden (does not take long), salt if desired. Serve hot. Sage fritters done this are quite addictive, and the flavor of sage really comes through. Chances are, it’d work with borage. If I had some, I’d try, but borage is not one of my gardening success. Sage is.

  8. Todd

    Great Post. The bees will now have to share.

  9. Lynn

    I am familiar with Borage Oil but didn’t realize the greens are edible. I’ll have to seek some out and try a few of the above ideas. Or, how about a Savory Borage Souffle or Borage Flan? The Borage Chimichurri is a definite must try!

  10. David

    Fascinating! I’ve had the same problem here in western wisconsin with borage. It almost grows like a weed, even in our lawn (that I wish we didn’t have anyway)! Maybe I’ll try some of your recipes once we get a billion seedlings again.

    By the way, I recently found this blog and I love reading it. My blog is pretty new and I just now am making an effort to advertise it– anyway — you’re on my blogroll.

  11. clotilde

    I once bought a little bunch of borage stems with their pretty blue flowers at the market, and was told you could steep them to make a medicinal, sudorific (=sweat-inducing) beverage. I’m not sure what ailment calls for such a cure, but there you are. 🙂

  12. maggie mae

    i just made borage and blueberry lemon custard ice cream. it was delish!

    when i scalded the milk i added the borage then strained. then just did a regular custard base adding a bit of lemon juice and zest…be careful not to curdle the milk and eggs. only use yolk if using lemon juice.

    next time i will experiment with using more flowers maybe candy them… but i only had enough for garnish.

  13. geraint

    thanks for some interesting reading – I’m going to try a borage’n’ricotta falone – basicallly a pasty from here in Sabina, italy


    I have been using borage instead of spinach to make home made green pasta for “Lasagne verde alla Ferrarese” Unusual taste, and much better than store bought tasteless green pasta.

  15. Lrong

    Greetings from Japan…
    Very informative and entertaining post… borage grows so well and is all over in my garden, and like you, I was trying to think what I can do with them… thank you for your write-out and the many suggestions… now, if I can only get my missus to try out some of your recipes… have a good day…

  16. Barb-Rhode Island

    I have monster Borage in my garden-the plants have grown to 5-6′ keeping pace with my monster tomato plants. I’m so happy to have found all these wonderful uses for it! I’ve been wondering what to do with it (other than composting it). I can’t wait to try them!!!

  17. Janice Tripepi

    And I always thought that Borage was the nerdy boy who sat in the front of the classroom! I have a rogue plant thats popped up and is strangling the madumbis out of some coriander in a pot …. get thee behind me borage! I reckon some filled pasta pockets … borage, ricotta and an egg yolk … ! Favoloso article!

  18. bobiter

    Borage is loaded with potassium, and potassium helps to keep blood pressure down. The only veggie I have found with more is spinach, but borage is real close.

  19. bobiter

    AS long as we are on the subject of borage nutrition, check out this from the Wikipedia article on Borage:

    Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3, cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid), for which borage is the highest known plant-based source (17-28%).[4] The seed oil content is between 26-38% and in addition to GLA contains the fatty acids palmitic acid (10-11%), stearic acid (3.5-4.5%), oleic acid (16-20%), linoleic acid (35-38%), eicosenoic acid (3.5-5.5%), erucic acid (1.5-3.5%), and nervonic acid (1.5%). The oil is often marketed as “starflower oil” or “borage oil” for uses as a GLA supplement, although healthy adults will typically produce ample GLA through dietary linoleic acid.

  20. Gommy

    This article. *Rolls around in it*.

    I just discovered a virtual borage seedling carpet in front of my house where a single borage plant once lived. I am pleased to see that I’m not alone in having encountered this “problem” and that you have foraged ahead (excuse the pun) to find some yummy ways to use the stuff.

    Much thanks!

  21. Sarah on Long Island

    I just googled Borage to find out what I could do with mine other than let the deer eat it – they love it – or use some in flower arrangements. Thanks for the ideas everyone!

  22. laura

    my mother would pick the biggest leaves, divide them in pairs, put a thin slice of cheese between each pair, then soak them in beated eggs, cover them in bread crumbs and finally fry them 🙂

  23. Annabelle

    I have just arrived in Florence, Italy where borage is growing wild amongst the olive groves. A lady picked some for me (along with the sweetest wild spring onions – I think this is what they are and their smell is amazing!). She indicated the borage leaves should be coated in bread crumbs and fried, then served with rice prepared like a risotto. This is tonight’s challenge.

  24. Giardiniera

    I just found some Borage tea in the kitchen at work which had me wondering just what its medicinal qualities were. Your blog inspired me to try it and see how it affects blood pressure.

  25. johnn

    borage is great in lemonade. add a few handfuls and blend with a hand blender, refrigerate over night and strain through a cheese cloth. makes a unbelievable pimm’s cup.
    also, paula wolfert has a chilled pea and borage soup recipe.

  26. amy Gardner

    This is great. I finally grew a great patch of borage, and needed a recipe. Live the ideas and the authors point if view. Wil come back for future ideas

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  28. Alicia

    I love all these ideas! I planted borage as a companion plant for my tomatoes this year and I was just wondering what to do with it. I’m pinning this to my “cooking from the garden” board on Pinterest. Thanks!

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  30. Dao

    Greetings from Paris. I discovered borage today and used it in a fusion salmon tartare. So as to preserve its subtle oyster flavor I kept the flavorings low key : sea salt, very good olive oil, some finely shredded sorrel and bean sprouts marinated in lime (instead of shallots which would have been too powerful). I also sprinkled it on a grilled buttered toast. With a chilled white wine, everything was perfect. The only thing is that I saw on the net that borage contains alcaloids, which when ingested in quantities (like infused..) can be harmful. PS I’ll post the picture and recipe in a week or so , you may want to have a look 🙂

  31. Randi Hutchinson

    The previous tenants planted borage here and I’m now awash in it – it’s taken over the entire garden. From the previous posts, I’m not sure if you can eat the older leaves even though they’re covered with prickles (most of mine are prickly). Not interested in infusions – just would like to know an easy recipe that could use the prickly leaves (i.e. saute like spinach)? Many thanks from New Zealand.

  32. Chakaruna

    In Spain they use the stems for a great variety of dishes, and the blanched leaves mostly run through a food processor and creamed

  33. Dana

    Great blog & great green thumb! Thanks!
    We’ve been in Nice in France and in Liguria in Italy several times and have had those wonderful borage ravioli in autumn (at the restaurant La Favorita in Apricale) with a creamy pumpkin sauce (probably just pumpkin purée, heavy cream & salt). They put it in stews & soups instead of spinach, too (had a tripe & borage stew…). Bourrache” in French, “Boragine” in Italian.

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  35. Paola

    Half of my polytunnel has been taken over by borage 😉
    Another Ligurian dish where borage is used is the Torta Pasqualina – a herb, local cheese and egg pie, of which there are many variations, (spinach only, green beets, artichokes…) and there are wild herbs (like a micx of nettle. lams lettuce, borage, sea beet…) versions of it (makes a lot of sense to me as the name implies that this pie was traditionally made at Easter, a time of the year where wild herbs are at their prime, and little produce can be found in the vegetable garden) A link to a good picture of it

  36. Delila

    My first year growing borage- hopefully my plant will grow and spread. Interesting information.

  37. Precilla

    Thank you I’ve learned a lot about borage today. It came up among my herbs. First time I saw it. Now I know what it is and how to use it. Thanks to everybody I will definitely trying it out.

  38. K-Roll

    Planted borage for the first time and it is growing so eagerly. Nice recipes – came to the site to find out how to incorporate it into my meal cooking.

  39. Mel

    Thanks for this post. I’ve never been successful with borage, so I wasn’t expecting last year’s batch to self seed! Now I have lots of the chimmichuri idea.

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