A couple of months ago I learnt you can eat Hosta’s, I read in disbelief, really? Surely not all of them? I was always brought up, maybe like you, don’t eat plants from the garden they are poisonous. I had this drilled into me as a kid so much that I even find it difficult to drink nettle tea!
Well this year I will be attempting to break that cycle, as well meaning as my mum was being, I don’t want to be missing out on the amazing culinary delights my garden has for me.
Obviously this blog carries a warning. If your not 100% sure of the plant don’t eat it! Also don’t eat a plant you have just bought from a garden centre. Often they are treated with pretty hardcore insecticides which can take an age to wear off.
I love Hosta’s though, they are such beautiful plants with many different cultivars, there is up to 45 different cultivars they are certainly all very beautiful. Mostly in western garden gardens they are grown for their magnificent leaves and charming flowers. But did you know all parts are edible?
They are called Urui in Japanese cuisine, and depending on the dish different parts of the hosta are used. Sometimes it’s the shoots, flowers, other times a full leaf, but as a whole it’s the younger parts which are eaten.
The problem is I love my Hostas, I spend so much time protecting them from slugs and snails, as they will gobble a plant leaving it looking ever so sad and holey. So the thought of eating my Hosta leaves a bad taste in my mouth before I even start!
So just for science, well maybe not science, but in the name of broadening my pallet and cooking skills I took to my allotment found a little leaf and pulled it up. It came up and out a bit like when you pull rhubarb. (Never eat rhubarb leaves by the way, they will kill you dead! And that’s not just my mummy speaking).
I picked a little baby leaf which hadn’t unfurled and felt terrible about it! But back into the kitchen I went. Popped it into boiling water, It’s colour changed to a bright lime green which was very pretty. I only boiled it for a minute, turned it out onto a plate covered it with a drizzle of olive oil a sprinkle of chilli and a pinch of pepper and down the hatch it went.
It was lovely! It had the bite of a good kale, with the bitterness of sorrel, but I have to say I was impressed! I will definitely be trying this again.
So now to find a decent spot in the allotment for a permanent hosta patch. If I raise a huge amount of them I won’t feel bad about eating them! Give it a go! It was lovely!
See this is why gardening is so much fun! You are constantly learning new things every season…
Eating hostas! – who knew!