The Salad Next To The Sidewalk


From curbside … to table

Just yesterday my good friend Jonathan sent me an interesting e-mail. It was about hostas, plants that grow in his backyard. I had always thought that they looked beautiful, but the thought never came across my mind that they looked tasty. Unfortunately, I might not get to try some any time soon, for they don’t grow in my backyard, and the grocery store doesn’t sell them! Jonathan says that asparagus and hostas are like cousins, so his family treats them the same. If you do try to cook some for yourself to eat, the older the plants get, the more bitter they are, so eat them early in the season. Here is how to cook them, a recipe by Jonathan Teller-Ellsberg:

“You can harvest a “head” of hostas two or three times in the spring, then leave the plant alone to regrow normally for the rest of the season. This allows the roots to build up their energy stores to get through the next winter.

“For one meal, I cut them up and gave them a good cleaning with the salad spinner. As the leaves grow up from the roots, they tend to collect bits of dirt and other detritus in their curled up shape. Sometimes I will leave them whole and steam them just long enough to be medium wilted.

“This time I sauteed them with olive oil, a little bit of toasted sesame oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Et voila! They were fantastically delicious.”





3 thoughts on “The Salad Next To The Sidewalk

  1. Hi Hen- We have hostas in our backyard. They grow really well in partial sun / shade along our fence. Never thought to eat them.
    Now that I think about these plants I think Farley might be peeing on them and Ted is probably chasing mice in and out and around them. And maybe eating them too. So not sure hostas are on the menu for us.
    Another great blog. Thanks!
    Love auntie Anne


  2. Hi Henry,
    I didn’t know about hostas as and asparagus are cousins! I’ll try them, we have several plants in the backyard. I agree with you, they look good and are very robust and easy to grow.
    Iana from Montreal


  3. Gosh Henry we grow a lot of hostas here but they are so pretty I’am not sure I want to eat them.Perhaps we will try a few leaves. Interesting receipe.
    xo nan


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