How to Cook Borage – Recipes & Tips For Cooking With Borage

Borage is a traditional herb used as a diuretic, diaphoretic, and anti-inflammatory. It was also thought to relieve symptoms of melancholy. Borage is a native of the Mediterranean but is well adapted to growing in British soils. Many people wonder how to cook with borage as it is no longer a commonly used herb

plate of delicious food with straberries - cooking with borage
Cooking with borage can be delicious and rewarding.

These days, borage is rarely used in cooking or grown in the common herb garden. It is a beautiful plant with delicate blue flowers. The leaves, flowers and stalks of borage are edible, however borage is a voracious grower and can take over a garden very quickly. This has lead to a decline in its popularity as a garden plant and also as an ingredient in meals.

How to Cook Borage

Borage is a versatile herb to cook with or use raw in the kitchen; its leaves, stalk and flowers are edible.

  • The young, fresh leaves have a mild cucumber taste and can be added to salads, used in stocks, soups and stews, or brewed to make a refreshing tea. You could also try adding them to sandwiches instead of lettuce, or chopping them and adding them to cream cheese or yogurt. When cooked, borage leaves may be used as a substitute to spinach. Don’t be put off by the fine white hairs on the leaves, as once in the mouth they quickly dissolve. They also disappear when cooked.
  • Borage flowers are beautiful and both look and taste fantastic in salads. They can also be preserved or candied. Why not try freezing some in ice cubes and adding them to drinks or simply floating the blooms in a glass of lemonade?
  • The stems of borage are used to flavour a number of alcoholic beverages, including Pimms No. 1. In Spain the stems are parboiled and fried in batter. Chopped up, they make a great addition to soups and can also be eaten raw; giving a hearty crunch to salads.

Borage Recipe Ideas

The flowers, stems and leaves of borage are edible and have many uses in the kitchen. Use the flowers as a pretty addition to drinks, either floating on their own or frozen in ice cubes. They will also brighten up a salad; simply toss in the washed blooms after adding the vinaigrette.

  • The leaves have a mild cucumber taste. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads, chopped into cream cheese or yoghurt, added to stocks, soups and stews and used in place of lettuce in sandwiches. Older leaves are better cooked, and may be added to soups and stews and used in place of spinach. You could try making borage ravioli or borage curry, or a borage and ricotta pizza.
  • Use the stems chopped up in salads or in stocks, stews and soups. You could also try eating them like the Spanish; simply parboil them for two minutes then deep fry in batter. Eat immediately.
  • Borage is a fantastic, versatile herb that deserves to be used more in the kitchen. Its flowers will brighten up salads and make interesting decorations to drinks, and the young leaves can be used as a substitute for anything from lettuce to spinach.

5 thoughts on “How to Cook Borage – Recipes & Tips For Cooking With Borage

  1. jac-jac says:

    I found this page really informative and have dried some leaves to make borage tea. I will also try the par-boiled spanish recipe. Another way to enjoy borage is to boil stalks in caster-sugar syrup (water and sugar in pan) until they go a lovely bright green. Then, coat with more caster sugar and bake in oven for chewy sweet treats. Lovely!!!

  2. Chef:Aruna says:

    I would like to know more about Borage Flowers how to use,which Dishes for more suterbal ,Exc: fish,salad ,sea food.. something like that…Thank’s..

  3. Lrong says:

    Borage curry? This sounds interesting as I love curries… now, if I can convince my missus to try out this recipe…

  4. Daisy says:

    I’m sure I have borage growing in my garden, it looks like the pictures, smells of cucumber and spreads vigorously. I didn’t plant it though. Is there a variety that isn’t edible or a similar plant I could be confusing it with? I’d like to be sure I’m right before I eat it!

  5. Steve says:

    Eleven thirty a.m. on a Sunday I had a woman knock on my front door. She asked, “Do you mind if I take a few of your borage leaves and flowers”. They were growing outside of my garden between the path and against my fence. As far as i was aware, they were not on my property and fair game so told her to go ahead. I thought they were weeds. I then asked why. After she’d told me I had to Google borage. Blown away by it’s uses, who knew. Well, lots of people apparently.

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