Be very careful what to do with the knotweed trimmings; trim it on site when you
pick it, as you don’t want to be dropping any knotweed cuttings. It’s a voracious
weed that will sprout from cuttings. Don’t even think about composting it.
Knotweed Soup - The tangy flavor of Japanese knotweed mellowed out by vegetable broth and tofu-cream cheese. 4 cups vegetable broth, 3-1/2 cups young Japanese knotweed shoots or rhubarb, sliced, 1 cup tofu-cream cheese, 1. Simmer the knotweed in the broth 5 minutes or until tender. 2. Stir in the tofu-cream cheese and serve. Serves 6. Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Baked Knotweed - 6 cups Japanese knotweed shoots, peeled if larger than 8 inches long , 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, finely crumbled, 2 teaspoons freshly ground dill seeds, 2 teaspoons freshly ground yellow mustard seeds (1 teaspoon seeds). 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon peppercorns). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the Japanese knotweed shoots in a 3-quart oiled. casserole dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir them into the knotweed shoots. Bake the knotweed, covered, until it is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4-6.
Steamed Knotweed Sesame - Japanese knotweed, with its soft texture and lemony flavor, is great in vegetable dishes. The seasonings in this steamed side dish bring out its best qualities. 8 cups young Japanese knotweed stalks, peeled if desired, 3 tbs. tamari soy sauce, 1 tbs. chili paste or 1/4 tsp. cayenne hot pepper, or to taste, 6 cloves of garlic, crushed, 6 tbs. sesame seeds, toasted. Mix together all ingredients except the sesame seeds. Cook covered, over low heat, in a heavy saucepan, 20 minutes, or until tender. Serve hot sprinkled with the sesame seeds. Serves 6. Time: 10 + 20 minutes.
Japanese Knotweed Crumble - Prepare a knotweed compote (similar to stewed rhubarb) by cutting tender spring knotweed shoots, no longer than about 12"-18" (the thicker, the better; leaves removed) into inch chunks. Steam till soft -- about 10 minutes. Add sweetener to taste -- perhaps 1/4 c. sugar per 2-3 cups of steamed knotweed -- and a squeeze of lemon juice. A drop of red food coloring will give it a very appetizing look. Mix equal parts flour and oatmeal, say 1/2 c.each, with a bit of cinnamon, some sugar and a dash of salt. Cut in butter, 1/3 stick at minimum and more if you like a richer crumble. Butter a baking dish. Put in the knotweed, cover with crumble mixture and bake in a medium hot oven, 350 degrees, for a half hour or so. As you notice, measurements, times and temperatures are variable. This basic technique is flexible and adaptable – just like knotweed! Have fun, use up our invasives, and get something for nothing.
Knotweed Wine - Four pounds (2 kg) of knotweed stems, leaves cut off and cut into chunks. Three pounds (1.5kg) sugar, 1 tsp yeast nutrient, Juice of one orange, Wine yeast (all purpose will do, but champagne yeast would probably work very well). Enough water to make up to 1 gallon (4.5l), Put the knotweed into a straining bag, and put that into a sterilized bucket. Get the water, sugar, orange juice and yeast nutrient to the boil and pour onto the knotweed. Let it stand, covered, till cool, and pitch in the activated yeast. Keep it in the covered bucket for around a week, till he fermentation dies down a little, and decant into a demi-john. Treat as for other wines from this point, but if you manage to retain a vibrant pink colour then don't stabilize when bottling as the sulfite makes the color vanish.