Tell-a-FriendBorage

Posted in Spices and Herbs  
Borage 

Borage (Borago officinalis) is a versatile plant valued for its cool cucumber aroma and flavour. This annual has large, hairy, oval leaves with robust stems and five-pointed, sky blue, star-shaped flowers surrounding black stamens. Borage, thought to have originated in the area of Aleppo, Syria, was probably brought to Europe by the Romans; it is most popular in Great Britain, central Europe, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

British summer drinks like Pimm’s cup and claret cup, a red wine and brandy punch, are traditionally garnished with a stem of borage, complete with leaves and flowers. The lovely blue flowers can be preserved, candied, simmered in syrup, or used as garnish. In Spain, the succulent stalks are boiled and fried in butter. In Liguria, Italy, borage and other wild spring greens are gathered to fill pansotti al sugo di noci, triangular pasta served with a creamy walnut sauce. The flower corollas can be used to colour vinegar blue. Both leaves and flowers are brewed for tea, and the flowers yield a honey much appreciated in New Zealand.

Other Names
Beebread; borragine (Italian); borraja or rabo de alacrán (Spanish); borretsch or gurkenkraut (German; also used for dill); bourragé or bourraio (Provençal French); bugloss, burrage, or hodan (Turkish); lisan athaur (Arabic); llanwenlys (Welsh); star flower (blossom)
Season
Borage greens are most tender in spring and may be found wild in many places or purchased at local farmers’ markets. The flowers bloom in midsummer.
Purchase and Avoid
Look for the most tender, least hairy borage if you’ll be using it as an uncooked herb. The flowers should be sparkling blue and wide open. If using borage as a cooking green, larger, older leaves are acceptable.
Serving Suggestions
    Borage Cooked 
  • Freeze borage blossoms (without the inedible calyx) in ice cubes and use to chill summer drinks or punch.

  • Briefly boil older leaves, steam like spinach, or dip in batter and deep-fry.

Food Affinities
  • butter

  • champagne

  • cream

  • cucumber

  • dill

  • fennel

  • mint

  • nutmeg

  • scallion

  • sour cream

  • spring herb mixes

  • sugar

  • walnut

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Herbs

Total Views: 806

Word Count: 578

Comment on Twitter

More Articles in "Spices and Herbs"

Nutmeg and Mace
Posted 19-04-2011 in Spices and Herbs
Nutmeg and Mace
Nutmeg is the large, light grayish brown, speckled, wood-hard kernel that grows inside the apricot-like fruit of a tropical tree (Myristica fragrans)…
View Details »
Allspice
Posted 03-11-2009 in Spices and Herbs
Allspice
Allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, hence the name…
View Details »
Speserye
Posted 03-10-2009 in Spices and Herbs
Speserye
Eksotiese speserye van regoor die wêreld is deesdae tot ons beskikking – tog beteken die beskikbaarheid daarvan maar min as jy nie weet hoe om dit te…
View Details »
Szechuan Peppercorns
Posted 19-04-2011 in Spices and Herbs
Szechuan Peppercorns
Szechuan peppercorns are the dried husks that surround the seeds of the Chinese prickly ash tree (Zanthoxylum simulans). Usually reddish brown, the fruits…
View Details »
Asafetida
Posted 12-04-2011 in Spices and Herbs
Asafetida
Asafetida (Hing) is an essential ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking. Asafetida is the strong-smelling, even stinking, dried brownish resin extracted…
View Details »

All Articles in "Spices and Herbs"