Boiled Thistle Recipe

This Boiled Thistle Recipe uses wild edible thistle to create this satisfying dish.

| May/June 1971

  • This Boiled Thistle Recipe is made using edible food from the wild.
    This Boiled Thistle Recipe is made using edible food from the wild.
    Photo by Fotolia/leekris

  • This Boiled Thistle Recipe is made using edible food from the wild.

Learn about this Boiled Thistle Recipe and how you can use this free wild food in a nutritious, delicious recipe.

Boiled Thistle Recipe

Bull and Canadian Thistles spring up here in amazing profusion. I try to get young thistles when they're less than six inches tall and cutting the plants involves some skillful manipulation or the wearing of leather gloves. Sometimes a bunch of thistles will seem to be alive the way they porcupine around to stab you when you're not watching and I place mine in a bag or box for carrying.

I boil the chopped plants until their thorns are soft and salt and serve them when the thistles are well cooked. The first time you try eating the plant this way you'll feel like Superman when you nonchalantly chomp down what — a few minutes before — was a stabbing mess of needle-sharp thorns. Thistles also make good creamed or wilted greens but, because of the broth-like consistency they give to water, I feel they make the best soup of any green plant.

Read more about finding wild edible foods: Foraging for Wild Edible Food.

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