The official line on eating comfrey is that you should not eat it as it could cause you serious harm. I’m not even sure exactly what type of harm, but apparently it’s bad – or so some of the major medical companies say. So the following article is written based on personal experience and not as a recommendation. If concerned, you should go and talk with a professional medical health person before you go there. That’s my disclaimer. Now… Lets get into why I love eating comfrey and how!
I grew up on a small herb farm where we ate lots of strange and unusual plants, including comfrey. Every time we were sick, our folks would make us the ‘green drink’ which was based on whizzed up dandelion and comfrey leaves and juiced carrots and apples. It was amazing how effective this brew was and while we didn’t exactly LOVE the drink at the time, it really did have some major health giving properties – like seriously.
So when someone (I can’t actually remember who) showed me how to make comfrey fritters around 14 years ago, I was 200% into it.
The comfrey I use is the Russian comfrey (Symphytum × uplandicum), which is the most common variety around. While it loves growing in well drained, friable soil – it can also thrive in steep, compact, crappy soils – like ours. Each winter it dies back and each summer it comes back bigger and better – our kind of plant.
Using any type of flour you like, make a batter of flour and water. You can also add in some flavours such as salt, paprika or herbs to taste at this point to add some extra flair. In terms of how much flour and water, just add water to your flour until you have a nice “slurry” – don’t make it too thick as you’ll end up eating dough – you want the comfrey leaf to shine through and dominate the culinary experience.
Dunk each leaf into your batter, making sure that there’s solid coverage of the batter over the whole leaf.
Fry them up in some olive oil (or other oil if you prefer) in a hot pan for approximately 5 minutes or until they turn golden brown’ish. A good trick is to leave their little stems on as it makes it easy to turn them over and pick them up.
You can also get tricky and roll them up (as shown below) – this makes for easier eating, plus they look pretty. There’s also no reason why you couldn’t put some tasty morsels inside the rolls – I’m thinking kim chi, but it could be anything your heart (aka taste buds) desire.
I’m a firm believer that eating broadly and freely is good for you, meaning it’s ok to eat outside the box (if that makes sense). Don’t get me wrong, you most definitely should not ONLY eat comfrey (or any other one thing), but I do think that most things in moderation is not only ok, but probably really good for you.
Want to read more about comfrey?
The Slowpoke wrote a fab blog about its many uses here