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Kudzu Recipes

You can eat Kudzu? Why sure! Find some vines off the beaten path and pick a mess!

To cook with Kudzu, choose only the smallest, most tender leaves that are free of discolorations and critter bites. Even the small leaves have plenty of body! The large poke salet leaves are too tough. You can find kudzu plants out by your shed, covering old buildings and hills, growing all over the side of the road, invading your tomato plants, and basically anywhere a weed would grow. Fresh and tender, the leaves have a flavor similar to that of green beans - that's because Kudzu is a member of the *legume family (*you know, like beans and peanuts).

Wanna read about Kudzu? Visit Kudzu: Friend, Foe or Food?

| Kudzu Blossom Jelly | Rolled Kudzu Leaves | Kudzu Quiche | Kudzu Tea | Deep Fried Kudzu Leaves |




Kudzu Blossom Jelly

Spoon over cream cheese, or melt and serve over waffles and ice cream. The blossom liquid is gray until lemon juice is added.

4 cups Kudzu blossoms
4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (1 3/4-ounce) package powered pectin
5 cups sugar

Wash Kudzu blossoms with cold water, and place them in a large bowl. Pour 4 cups boiling water over blossoms, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Pour blossoms and liquid through a colander into a Dutch oven, discarding blossoms. Add lemon juice and pectin; bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a spoon. Quickly pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands.

Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks. YIELD: 6 half pints.




Rolled Kudzu Leaves

Kudzu Leaves
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
Juice of 3 lemons
Bacon Grease (optional)

Stuffing ingredients: 1 cup rice, rinsed in water
1 pound ground lamb or lean beef
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Gather about 30 medium-sized young kudzu leaves. Make sure area has not been sprayed with chemicals to kill the Kudzu.

Wash leaves. Drop into salted boiling water. Boil a 2-3 minutes, separating leaves. Remove to a plate to cool. Remove heavy center stems from the leaves by using a knife and cutting down each side of the stem to about the middle of the leaf. Combine all stuffing ingredients and mix well.

Push cut sides together and fill with 1 teaspoon stuffing and roll in the shape of a cigar. Place something in bottom of a large pan so that rolled leaves will not sit directly on the bottom of the pan. Bacon grease is great for seasoning.

Arrange Kudzu rolls alternately in opposite directions. When all are in the pot, pour in a can diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 3 cloves of garlic, cut in half. Press down with an inverted dish and add water to reach dish. Cover pot and cook on medium for 30 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook 10 minutes more.




Kudzu Quiche

Makes 4-6 servings.

1 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped, young, tender Kudzu leaves and stems
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream, eggs, kudzu, salt, pepper, and cheese. Place in pie shell. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until center is set.




Kudzu Tea

Kudzu leaves
Mint
Honey

Simmer 1 cup of finely chopped Kudzu leaves in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Drain and serve with honey and a sprig of mint. If you prefer a sweeter taste use honey to sweeten the tea.




Deep Fried Kudzu Leaves

Pick light green leaves, 2-inch size.

Thin batter made with iced water and flour
Oil

Heat oil. Rinse and dry kudzu leaves, then dip in batter (chilled). Fry oil quickly on both sides until brown. Drain on paper toweling. Eat while warm.





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Revised: 07/26/2016
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