Your Subtitle text

Cattail Recipe

Cattails can be use for food, when grown in clean water and soil.

Cattail Stir-fry

Gather your cattail leaves/shoots and pull off the tough/fibrous outer leaves until you reach the tender white inner core of the cattail heart. Wash them thoroughly and cut into roughly 4” pieces. Put a healthy amount of high-heat cooking oil in the bottom of your skillet. Put in your burdock root slices into the hot oil, which are cut diagonally about 1/8” thick, and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add chopped spring onion, carrots that have been cut into long strips (julienned), and the chopped burdock petioles. Cook about 3-5 minutes and then add cattail shoots, minced garlic, and minced ginger (you could use a small amount of wild ginger). Cook for about 3 minutes. Then add a few splashes of sesame seed oil, some black sesame seeds, chopped red cabbage, some finely chopped wild greens (we used sow thistle greens) and a lot of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/soy sauce/tamari/shoyu. Cover and let cook for about a minute. Serve with Nettle/Sesame Powder sprinkled on top.


Cattail-Wild Rice Pilaf

This recipe can be made with brown rice, but the wild rice adds a special dimension to it.

1 cup dry wild rice (4 cups cooked)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
½ cup chopped green onion
2 cups cattail shoots, sliced (about 30 cattails)
2 tsp salt
½ cup slivered almonds

1. Cook the wild rice until tender.
2. Sautee onion and cattail shoots in sesame oil until tender and translucent.
3. Mix the rice and the sautéd cattail shoots and onion together.
4. Add salt and slivered almonds.
5. Serve hot.

Cattail Wild-Rice Soup

1 cup dry wild rice (4 cups cooked)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
½ cup chopped green onion
2 cups cattail shoots, sliced (about 30 cattails)
2 tsp salt

1. Cook the wild rice until tender.
2. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot sauté onion and cattail shoots in sesame oil until tender and translucent.
3. Add the cooked wild rice, salt and 4 cups of chicken broth or other soup stock of choice.
4. Simmer together for 15-20 minutes and serve.

Cat-on-the-Cob with Garlic Butter

30-40 cattail flowerheads, peeled
Garlic butter:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup freshly chopped wild greens (or parsley or other fresh garden herbs)

Make garlic butter in a food processor by whipping the butter, oil, salt, fresh garlic and parsley together until smooth.
Note: If using salted butter, eliminate the salt from the recipe.
The olive oil makes the butter nice and creamy and spreadable, even after refrigerating. I like to make a batch of this to keep handy in the fridge. You can also make a larger batch ahead to freeze in small containers when the greens are in season.

1. Boil cattail flowerheads in water for 10 minutes
2. Make garlic butter in a food processor by whipping the butter, salt, fresh garlic and parsley together until smooth.
3. Drain the cattail flowerheads and slather them generously with the garlic butter.
4. Eat them just like miniature corn on the cobs.

Cattail Casserole

3 cups cattail flowerbuds, scraped off the “cobs” (about 40 flowerheads)
1 egg
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup milk
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 cup grated cheese

1. Cook cattail flowerheads in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
2. Scrape the flowerbuds off the cob to make 3 cups.
3. Beat egg together with spices, milk and breadcrumbs.
4. Combine cattail flowers with the egg mixture.
5. In a greased bread pan or small casserole dish, spread half of cattail mixture on the bottom.
6. Add half of the grated cheese, spread the rest of the cattail mixture over, and top with the rest of the grated cheese.
7. Bake at 350° until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Cattail Flower Refrigerator Pickles

This recipe is adapted from Wildman Steve Brill’s book “Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants, who got it from his friends Dean and Gabi.
Enough cattail flowerheads to tightly fill a quart jar, about 30 or 40
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 to 6 bay leaves
¾ cup apple cider vinegar (use some of your herbal vinegar!)
1½ cups olive oil
3 Tbsp salt
1¼ cups water

1. Boil the cattails in water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drain thoroughly.
2. Stuff flowerheads, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves into clean, sterile quart jar.
3. Combine vinegar, oil, water and salt in a saucepan.
4. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour over the cattail heads.
5. Add a little more oil, vinegar and water if the liquid does not reach to the top of the jar.
6. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
If you are experienced at making pickles, you could experiment with some of your favorite pickle recipes and put them up as preserves.

Cattail Pollen Pancakes

Cattail pollen pancakes are an experience you will never forget! They are absolutely delicious!
1 cup flour
1 cup cattail pollen
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup honey
¼ cup oil
2 cups milk

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Add eggs, honey, oil and milk and mix thoroughly.
3. If the batter seems to thick to pour, add more milk until it has a good pancake batter consistency.
4. Cook on a hot griddle until golden brown.

Cattail Pollen Biscuits

You’ll never be the same after eating these golden, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, worth every minute of your time and effort in harvesting the cattail pollen. My secret for making light biscuits is to make the dough in a food processor.
1 cup white flour (wheat flour just doesn’t make ‘em light enough!)
1 cup cattail pollen
¼ cup butter
1 Tbsp honey or sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 °.
2. Put flour, cattail pollen, salt and baking powder, and butter in a food processor and run on high until you have a course mixture. (If no food processor, cut with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.)
3. Add honey or sugar plus the milk and whiz just until the dough forms a lump. Do not overmix!
4. Shape into biscuits and bake on ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
You can make drop biscuits by increasing the milk to 1 cup and dropping by large spoonfuls until a cookie sheet.
Buttermilk biscuits: For the ultimate biscuit, substitute buttermilk for the milk, decrease baking powder to 2 tsp, and add ¼ tsp baking soda