By Harold McGee
Borage is a medium-sized Mediterranean native, Borago officinalis, with bright blue flowers and large, fuzzy leaves that have the distinct flavor of cucumber, thanks to enzymes that convert its fatty acids into the same nine-carbon chain (nonanal) produced by cucumber enzymes. It was once a common ingredient of mixed salads (see the recipe). Plants in the borage family accumulate potentially toxic alkaloids, so borage should be eaten in moderation.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee. By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.