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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Cooking with salad burnet

Salad burnet tastes fresh and has a light nutty aroma. The herb is often used in salads with the addition of vinegar or lemon juice. The mildly spicy leaves give fish and vegetable dishes, herb soups, quiches, cheese and egg dishes a special touch. Like borage, it can be used to flavour cold drinks. For a tasty cucumber soup, peel and chop cucumber into cubes, blend with yoghurt and salad burnet, add salt and pepper and serve cold. Even the famous German “Grüne Soße" contains the spicy plant.

Where the plant is found

Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor), also known as small burnet, is found almost throughout Central and Southern Europe. The perennial plant of the Umbelliferae family grows primarily on infertile and chalky grasslands, in dry and infertile grassland, on scree slopes and along roadsides.

Seasoning and preparation

It is best to eat the young leaves and shoots of salad burnet, which grow in spring and are easy to remove from the stalks. In summer the bright yellow flowers appear; they can also be eaten. To use, wash carefully, then strip the delicate leaves from the stalks and chop them. For a more intense aroma sprinkle vinegar or lemon juice onto the leaves before chopping. Salad burnet quickly loses its flavour when cooked, so simply add it to the finished dish just before serving.

Health benefits and shopping

Salad burnet contains plenty of vitamin C, essential oils and bitter substances. The ancient medicinal plant is an expectorant, blood purifier and has an anti-inflammatory effect. In natural medicine it is used to treat sore throats and for blood purification, but also for heartburn, bloating and diarrhoea.

 

Fresh salad burnet is hard to find even at street markets and farmers' markets. That means you have to grow it yourself in a garden or on your balcony. Pick it just before using, as the leaves tend to wither quickly.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de