Milkweed appears in mid-May in my back yard in upstate new York. The plants have distinctive paddle-shaped leaves opposite each other and hollow stalks that ooze white liquid when cut. When they’re young, the whole above-ground plant can be eaten. The taste of sautéed milkweed is pleasant and mild. Serves 4.
A good handful of milkweed stalks with leaves (about 1 quart by volume)
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 T white wine (optional)
1 t lemon juice
sprinkle of cracked red pepper (optional)
1/2 t salt
Method: wash stalks and cut into 3 inch pieces, combining stems and leaves. If the bottom parts of the stems have gotten woody, trim those away. Heat oil in a saute pan and cook garlic until fragrant; add milkweed, toss, cover and cook for about a minute. It will have cooked down considerably. Add white wine and lemon juice and sizzle in the pan until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and optional red pepper flakes and serve.