Burdock, Leeks, and Mushrooms Braised with Wine and Lemon

Preparation info

  • Serves


    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    This quiet complex of flavors suggests artichoke stew, yet the dish is quick-cooking and texturally distinct, retaining burdock’s characteristic chewiness. Serve it to garnish crisp-cooked seafood or to add tooth to fluffy quinoa or millet. If the blah beige of burdock bores you, brighten it with a fine confetti of parsley and celery leaves, or try minced lovage, chervil, or fennel.


    • 2 cups water
    • teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 medium-large burdock root (About ½ pound)
    • 1 medium-large leek
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ pound small button mushrooms, thin-sliced
    • ½ cup white wine
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 cup vegetable, mushroom, or chicken broth
    • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest


      1. Combine water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in bowl. Scrub burdock under running water. Peel off rooty bits, nubs, and tips as needed (nibble to determine just how fibrous it is). Grate on julienne or grating blade of food processor, vegetable cutter, or large holes of hand grater. Stir into the lemon water.
      2. Trim roots and heavy dark top from leek. Slit leek lengthwise, then cut into thin crosswise slices. Swish around in plenty of water, then lift out. Repeat until no grit remains.
      3. Heat fairly large skillet over moderately high heat. Add oil and tip to coat pan. Add mushrooms and toss until they exude liquid. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain burdock and add to pan. Toss until mixture colors lightly, about 3 minutes.
      4. Add wine and stir until nearly evaporated. Add sugar, nutmeg, pepper, broth, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and zest. Simmer, covered, until burdock is tender but still has some bite, about 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer until liquid is reduced to taste, 5 to 10 minutes.